About this artwork

Before the passing of the Reform Act of 1832, which made substantial changes to the electoral system in England and Wales, the Lamb family controlled the parliamentary borough of Rye in East Sussex (Scotland had a separate Act in 1832). Thomas himself served as mayor on twenty occasions until 1801. Lamb House (National Trust), the family residence in Rye, was later occupied by the novelist Henry James. Thomas’s portrait shows the influence of the elegance and refinement of contemporary French portraiture. Ramsay had settled in London in 1738 while also maintaining a studio in his father’s Edinburgh house.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Thomas Lamb of Rye (1719 - 1804)
  • date created:
    1753
  • materials:
    Oil on canvas
  • measurements:
    103.50 x 87.80 cm (framed: 123.90 x 108.70 x 7.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Gallery of Scotland, 1992
  • accession number:
    NG 2545
  • gallery:
  • photographer:
    Antonia Reeve
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Allan Ramsay

Allan Ramsay