Thomas Lawrence. Pinkie. (1794). Oil on Canvas. (146 x 100 cm).
The portrait represents Sarah Barrett Moulton, daughter of a rich owner of plantation in Jamaica. The title “Pinkie” and the color of clothing refer to the nickname of the family of Sarah. This one dies the following year in England at the 12 years age of the tuberculosis contracted before by one of her brothers.
The painting is exposed to the institute of Arts of the Library of Huntington at San Marino in California beside Blue Boy of Thomas Gainsborough (1770). The two painting are the showpieces of the collection of the institute which specializes in the art of the English portrait of the 18th century. The elegant posture of Sarah, the fixity of her glance which contrasts with its dress and the ribbons which float in the wind, the vastness of the sky to the background, make of this portrait an almost animated and very air work. Pinkie and Blue Boy are very often associated in the spirit of the public. So that much of people are persuaded that they are the work of the same artist. Jonathan Buttall, who posed for the portrait of Gainsborough, carries a costume of the time of the beginning of the 17th century in tribute to painter Flemish Anthony Van Dyck. Sarah Moulton wears a dress to the contemporary mode of 1794.
The horizon is very low. The point of view of the spectator is well below glance of the model. Consequently Pinkie seems to float among the clouds and to rise in the sky.
The body of Pinkie is in central position by reports with the 4 tension fields.
Its face and its bust occupy the upper part, between 2 natural points of interest.
The sky is detached on the 3 quarters from pictorial space.
The ground and the landscape are on the last quarter.
The ascending guiding lines of the dress, the movement of the ribbon and the folds of clothing give the impression that Pinkie floats in the wind.
The glance of the young girl is surprisingly fixed and extremely penetrating. It seems to question the spectator and even to defy it. Pinkie is made up with lipstick and its cheeks are powdered.
The dominant color is it pink which of course symbolizes the feelings and softness. But pink is to it also attenuated red and in this direction it evokes sexuality incipient from the young girl.
The veil of the dress is moving, it follows the direction of the wind. This gives an intense feeling of undulation, as if the entire model were suspended in the air. Moreover the left arm of Pinkie is in its back but the right-hand man underlines to him also the direction of the wind.
Light : The light comes on in top and the right-sided. Its maximum intensity is towards the center of the dress.
Colors : Harmonize and Contrasts.
Opposition between hot and cold colors.
Similar Painting :
Elizabeth Farren. Thomas Lawrence. (1790).
Miss Farren is an actress, it will become Countess of Derby. As Sarah it is detached in front of an immense sky in a dress and a white cape. However the picture is air. It is probable this work, painted 4 years before, that was the model for Pinkie.
Blue Boy. Thomas Gainsborough. (1770).
Pinkie and Blue Boy are exposed to the same place and are often associated. However the two paintings are very different. By the colors, the posture and the atmosphere which they release. Pinkie is air and seems carefree, Blue Boy adopts a solemn installation and its 2 feet are of course ground.
Charles Lambton or the Red Boy. Thomas Lawrence. (1820).
The Red Boy is the response of Lawrence to Blue Boy of Gainsborough. The colors are completely different. Blue Boy poses in a way majestic and imposing, Thomas Lawrence chooses a lascivious installation and the boy rather seems to dream…