Two autograph letters signed ("Th. Lawrence") to William Roscoe in Liverpool; Russell Square and Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park, 21 September 1824 and 21 October 1824
From the Bart Auerbach Collection. A total of 7 pages, 4to, each a bifolium, and with its wax seal. The first letter has a seal hole affecting parts, but not the sense of three words, and a fold tear touching a few letters; on the fourth page Lawrence has written around the address panel on the sides. The second letter has a separate address leaf, and is in fine condition. Item #409431
William Roscoe (1753-1831) was a prominent Liverpool banker who formed a notable collection of books and prints, and drawings mostly focused on the Italian artists and printers. He was also a writer, best known now for the children's classic 'The Butterfly's Ball'. Lawrence was the most successful portrait painter of the Regency period and became president of the Royal Academy in 1820. He formed a fine collection of Renaissance Italian drawings, including many by Michelangelo and Raphael.
21 September 1824: Lawrence writes of some prints they had been discussing, and continues: "... I commenced and continued the [purchase?] of my collection of Drawings with the simple enthusiasm (passion, rather) of the Artist, but I already perceive myself infected with the [weakness?] and pride of the Collector, when it seems to afford enjoyment to [Minds?] of enlightened Taste, and [receives?] their admiration. I need not say that you have liberally fed this vanity; but in doing so you justify me for the effort.
"These Drawings would not have been in Eng[land] or coming, would have been scattered in different collections, and liable to many chances of injury that will now hardly await them..."
21 October 1824: "... The Picture shall be forwarded immediately on my return, which probably will be in a few days ... It appears to me not to be by Michelangelo, and to be [more?] like Leonardo da Vinci, tho the figures are a little inferior to either; but it is evidently done to put down a thought-to record a powerful Feeling; and [circumstance?] not Form was the object. It is [impossible?] to be by Leonardo! ... When I get to Town I shall ask the great Doctor respecting it..."
WITH: Autograph letter signed from Lawrence to John Taylor (the publisher of Keats, et al?), [London], n.d. 8vo, two pages, a bifolium inlaid in a quarto sheet at second leaf (its verso with "To John Taylor Esq."), with two seal holes. An elaborately polite invitation to dinner. And with an engraving of a portrait of Lawrence by Charles Landseer, 5 3/4 x 4 1/4 inches, inlaid in a quarter sheet; a lithograph portrait of Lawrence, oval, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches, inlaid in quarto sheet. (BA).