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image H7

Robert William Sievier (1794 - 1865), sculptor

Bust of Sir Thomas Lawrence


Marble, on a marbled timber pedestal

Inscription: Inscribed on the back: Sir Thomas Lawrence P. R. A./1830 Sievier Sculp.

Museum number: H7

Curatorial note

Soane displayed this bust of his celebrated fellow Royal Academciian and friend in a place of honour in the front Hall of his house. It was exhibited at the RA in 1830 being described as 'posthumous'. Lawrence died on 7 January 1830 and the Academy Exhibition opened in late April. Soane probably acquired this marble immediately after the exhibition. A cast of this bust, SM M695, forms part of the arrangement in the Dome Area at the heart of the 'Museum' at the back of the house. There is another copy of the plaster bust in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, accompanied by correspondence that indicates that the bust is based on: 'a cast taken from the head of Sir Thomas, a few hours after his death, by a particular friend, of course a correct likeness not only of his face but of his phrenology'.

Thomas Lawrence was President of the Royal Academy whilst Soane was Professor of Architecture there. The leading role of the RA in the artistic life of the nation probably underlies Soane's placement of Lawrence so prominently at the heart of his arrangements.

Soane sat to Lawrence in 1828 for the portrait which hangs in the Dining Room (SM P11), which was completed in 1829 and said to have been Lawrence's last work before his sudden death in 1830.

Exhibition history

Art on the Line: The Royal Academy Exhibitions at Somerset House 1780-1836, The Courtauld Gallery, London, 17 October 2001 - 20 January 2002

Associated objects

M695, cast
P11, subject's work

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk