Know Your Chapeau: Pinkie

7:00 AM

Sir Thomas Lawrence, Pinkie, 1794

Sir Thomas Lawrence, an accomplished portraitist, painted Sarah Goodin Barrett Moulton in 1794 when Sarah was eleven years old. Given the nickname Pinkie by her family (which I think is up there alongside Keith, Myrtle, and Bing on the list of horrible things to call your children), Lawrence played off of the nickname, giving his subject a soft, rosy complexion. Dressed in pink, young Sarah stands on the rocks poised, looking off among to the distance.

Pinkie and Thomas Gainsborough's more famous Blue Boy have been seen as a package deal before. In the 1960s, the two paintings were sold together as cheap home decor. Today, the two portraits hang beside one another at the Huntington Library in California. Although I’m not particularly fond of either painting, that feeling changes when you put them together. They complete each other. Lawrence clearly intended to juxtapose his painting with Blue Boy, seeing as how they were painted only fourteen years apart. Dubbed the “Romeo and Juliet of Rocco portraiture,” Pinkie and Blue Boy thrive together, but wilt when apart.

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