Sir Thomas Lawrence was an English portrait painter and the fourth president of the Royal Academy. A child prodigy, he was born in Bristol and began drawing in Devizes, where his father was an innkeeper at the Bear Hotel in the Market Square. At age ten, having moved to Bath, he was supporting his family with his pastel portraits. At 18, he went to London and soon established his reputation as a portrait painter in oils, receiving his first royal commission, a portrait of Queen Charlotte, in 1790. He stayed at the top of his profession until his death, aged 60, in 1830.