L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Saturday, November 2, 2013

David Lyon by Thomas Lawrence, circa 1825

Sir Thomas Lawrence (April 13, 1769, Bristol – January 7, 1830, London), an English painter.  An exemplary draughtsman, singularly adept at capturing a likeness, he was celebrated for his virtuosic brushwork; self-taught, he was eventually president of the Royal Society.  From 1810 he held the lavish patronage of the Prince Regent, later George IV, and was acknowledged as the foremost English portrait painter of his day.

Not a terrible lot is known about the handsome - even glamorous - sitter.  David Lyon of Goring Hall, Sussex, was born circa 1794 and died in Nice, April 8, 1872.  Untitled, though quite wealthy, his family was possibly related to the Bowes-Lyons, the family of the late Queen Mother.  In 1848, at about the age of fifty-five, Lyon married Blanche Augusta Bury (born 1819), whose mother was Lady Charlotte Bury, a well-known novelist of the day.  Disraeli met Lyon's wife, Blanche, at dinner and described her as very beautiful and fascinating; he described her husband as "a rich man".  David Lyon left no heirs and the estate, along with his portrait, passed to a younger brother, then down in the family until they were eventually and inevitably sold; Goring Hall in 1934, the Lawrence portrait in 1980.

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