George Henry Harlow .Attributed to (1787 –1819) British .Portrait of an Elegant Lady wearing a White Dress and Pearl Earings


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“George Henry Harlow

Attributed to (1787 –1819) British

Title Portrait of an Elegant Lady wearing a White Dress and Pearl Earings

Category 19th Century

Medium & Size Oil on canvas: 30 x 25 inches. Framed size: 37 x 32 inches. Period Regency gilt frame. Circa 1815


Harlow was born in St James’s Street London 10 June 1787 and was educated at Dr Barrow’s, Mr Roy’s in Burlington Street and Westminster School. Studied under Hendrick Frans de Cort and Samuel Drummond before entering Lawrence’s studio at the age of 15 where he was much influenced by Lawrence’s style and use of colour; he remained with Lawrence for about 18 months until they fell out over the authorship of a painting. Despite their differences Lawrence considered Harlow to be the most promising ‘of all our painters’. Harlow was also admired and encouraged by Fuseli.

Harlow exhibited his work, 45 paintings at the Royal Academy and 5 at the British Institution from 1804 to 1818.

Among his sitters were HRH the Prince of Wales, HRH the Duke of Sussex, Benjamin West PRA, James Northcote RA, Sir William Beechey RA, and Henry Fuseli RA.

Harlow had an extravagant taste in clothes, which led his friends to nickname him ‘Clarissa Harlow’. In 1818 Harlow visited Rome where he was befriended by Canova, who admired his work and obtained for him an introduction to meet the Pope.

Harlow was elected an Academician of Merit in the Accademia di San Luca, and invited to deposit his portrait in the Gallery of Self Portraits at the Uffizi. He returned to London on 13 January 1819.

Harlow died at the early age of 32 from an infection of the throat (recorded as mumps). He is buried under the altar of St James’s, Piccadilly. His studio sale was held at Foster’s London 21 June 1819 and 3 June 1820.Robert Edmonstone was Harlow’s pupil.

Work represented: National Portrait Gallery London; British Museum; Victoria & Albert Museum; National Gallery Ireland; Ashmolean; Birmingham City Art Gallery; Walker Art Gallery Liverpool; Garrick Club; Accademia di San Luca Rome; Philadelphia Musuem of Art; Yale; Metropolitan Museum New York.


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