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Sir Thomas Lawrence's original sketch of Arthur Atherley, 1791

An oil sketch by the renowned 18th century artist Sir Thomas Lawrence, which had never before been available to the public, was bought by The Holburne museum, Bath, in 2015.


As part of the fundraising campaign for the acquisition, Jake Wood-Evans was asked to produce his own reinterpretation of the Lawrence artwork. Two pieces, an oil painting and a drawing, were auctioned as part of a special event held at the Holburne Museum in November 2015. Proceeds from the sale of Wood-Evans' new works were put towards the amount raised for the purchase.

Sir Lawrence's 1791 "first sketch" of Arthur Atherley - for one of his most celebrated portraits - had been held in a private collection for 150 years. In total around £420,000 was raised by the museum to acquire the workFeaturing a 19-year-old Atherley, who had recently left Eton College, the study was the "first sketch from life" for a three-quarter length portrait now held at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The artist, who lived and worked in Bath in his teens, exhibited Atherley's finished portrait at the Royal Academy in 1792. The preliminary study is thought to have remained in Lawrence's studio until his death, before being sold in 1860 for £30.


The Holburne Museum Bath, November 2015

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