Pinkie | Sir Thomas Lawrence | 1794
Sir Thomas Lawrence devotes himself to portraits during his whole life, except for 2 historic paintings. At 20, the artist had already been commended to portrait queen Charlotte and the princess Amelia, both from the British Royal House.
He was famous during his life, being acknowledged as one of the key figures in English portrait painting. He even portrayed kings, popes and several important people. Also, he was pointed as president of the Royal Academy of Art, title he had until he died.
Pinkie is the portrait of Sarah Barrett Moulton, 11, daughter of the owner of a plantation in Jamaica. Personally, I think that this is the ugliest painting that the humble blog Silver and exact has seen so far.
The work belongs to the permanent collection of The Huntington Library, in California; and it is put right in front The blue boy, by Thomas Gainsborough. The idea of the curators was to have in the same room the maximum exponents of the English rococo. While the work by Gainsborough is not so bad, Pinkie, to me, is hideous. You already know that I hate rococo but, beyond that, this work, to me, doesn’t make any sense. I can´t find nothing in it that I enjoy: it is pompous, elitist, has no expression, is tacky and, above all, too pink.
This painting, however, was so known in Jamaica that, in the 20s, it appeared in the wrappers of Cadbury® chocolates.
We have to acknowledge that Lawrence’s technique is not bad. Theoretically, the artist was self taught and never studied art. So, we cannot say that the artist couldn’t paint. Although the technique is fundamental, I think that the artist has to master several more things apart from that, don’t you think?