Back The Guardian National Gallery to buy Thomas Lawrence’s ‘Red Boy’ for £9.3m
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22 Jul 10:42am

National Gallery to buy Thomas Lawrence’s ‘Red Boy’ for £9.3m

The Guardian
Sentimental toffee-tin favourite was first painting on a UK postage stamp but has divided opinion since 1825 To some it is the epitome of ghastly chocolate-box sentimentality, described by Wordsworth as “a wretched histrionic thing”. To others it is a dazzling tour de force, praised by one critic as showing “the sparkling intelligence of youth”. Members of the public will soon be able to join the debate as the National Gallery on Thursday announced it was buying the work in question for the nation: Thomas Lawrence’s portrait of Charles William Lambton (1818-31), popularly known as the “Red Boy”.
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