He painted this portrait of Queen Charlotte when he was only 20, with no formal training as painter, and having been granted only one sitting by the Queen.
But look how that young boy has captured the sadness in her eyes, only a year after the first descent into madness of King George III.
There were other haunting faces in this exhibition, so real - you'd think - that they might have stepped out of their frames to engage you in formal, polite conversation. Lawrence seems to have had a way with those who were old and frail, like old Lady Manners who was 89 when he painted her sitting erect but twisting a lace handkerchief in her knotted, arthritic hands. He painted William Wilberforce in retirement, his body wracked by pain but goodness and good humour shining out from his face.
There was hardly anybody in the gallery yesterday and my guess is that the average age of visitors was well over 60. I enjoyed the quiet and the sense that everybody there was engrossed in the paintings ... but what a shame that so many will ignore this exhibition because it isn't 'fashionable.'