Portrait of Mrs John Julius Angerstein, by Sir Thomas Lawrence (n.d.), in the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia.
'Sir Thomas Lawrence enjoyed the patronage of John Julius and Elizabeth Angerstein, who were successful English merchants in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Mrs. Angerstein’s active pose and purposeful gaze suggests a woman who is both elegant and alert. The spacious composition of unfolding landscape and distant sea confers an aristocratic gravitas: she owns her world as surely as she and her husband own the boat that floats on the sea at right. The Angerstein’s wealth came largely from selling marine insurance, but they were involved in other ventures, including mercantile finance, the creation of Lloyds of London (a business that continues to thrive today) and the slave trade. It is difficult and even painful for us, as American citizens of the twenty-first century, to reconcile the seeming creativity and capabilities of historic figures such as the Angersteins with the cataclysm of trafficking in the enslavement of fellow humans.'
30th Nov -0001
Woodmere Art Museum