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Joseph Farington (1747–1821), RA

Image credit: Lancashire County Museum Service

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This portrait, depicting Joseph Farington standing in a rocky landscape, is a major romantic work by Sir Thomas Lawrence, one of the greatest of English portrait painters. Farington was a topographical artist in the picturesque tradition, but he is best remembered as the author of the famous 'Farington Diary' which is an invaluable source of information on artists, writers and poets he had met in his capacity as administrator and principal spokesman of the Royal Academy. Reference to this portrait is made in his diary entry for 11 April 1794: 'Lawrence offered to paint my portrait for Mrs Farington'. And again on 7 May 1794: 'This morning I sat to Lawrence; when he drew in my portrait with black chalk on the canvas, which employed him near 2 hours.

Judges' Lodgings, Lancaster



Joseph Farington (1747–1821), RA




oil on canvas


H 73.8 x W 65 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased from P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. Ltd with the assistance of the Art Fund and the Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, 1992

Work type



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Normally on display at

Judges' Lodgings, Lancaster

Church Street, Lancaster, Lancashire LA1 1YS England

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