T. E. Lawrence (1888–1935)

© courtesy of the family of the artist. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Known to the world as 'Lawrence of Arabia', Thomas Edward Lawrence was born in Tremadoc, North Wales. After Oxford, he worked as an archaeologist in Syria, 1909 to 1914. In the war against the Ottoman Empire, Lawrence was an adviser to the future King Faisal and led the triumphant Arabs into Damascus in 1918. He told the story of his war in 'The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a Triumph' from 1926. To escape his notoriety, Lawrence changed his name and rejoined the army in 1922, as Gunner J. H. Ross, and the RAF from 1923 to 1935 as Aircraftsman T. E. Shaw. In 'The Mint', from 1936, he described the harsh life of the ranks. He was killed in a motorcycle accident.

National Portrait Gallery, London



T. E. Lawrence (1888–1935)






H 41.3 x W (?) x D (?) cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1963

Work type


Inscription description

incised with initials and numbered '9'


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