This sensitive, beautifully rendered portrait drawing demonstrates Lawrence’s abilities at portraying children was made by Lawrence when he was at the height of his power and fame.
The sitter, Jane Allnutt, was the daughter of the great collector and patron John Allnutt and his second wife Eleanor Brandram. Our full-length study, captures Jane Allnutt in an informal pose. There is a small unfinished painting of the head of Jane Allnutt of the same date, c. 1825, in the Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino.
The Allnutt family had amassed a substantial fortune in the wine trade throughout the eighteenth century and John Allnutt was a friend and considerable patron of artists including Constable and Turner and especially Lawrence to whom he seems to have been a consistent friend, lending him large sums of money: £5,000 was repaid to Allnutt by his executors after Lawrence’s death in 1830. On 22 May 1845 Jane married Henry Carr at Holy Trinity Church on Clapham Common. The occasion was celebrated in a group portrait by David Cox Jr, The Wedding Breakfast (private collection). Henry Carr subsequently enlisted Cox’s help in arranging the posthumous sale of John Allnutt’s collection at Christie’s on 20 June 1863.