Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)

Allegory of Human Life, 1923


SKU: 7627
Oil on canvas

Height – 61cm
Width – 91.5cm

1 in stock


The British School of Rome; Jonathan Clark; Private collection

A. K. Lawrence was the Rome Scholar in Decorative Painting for 1923.


An Allegory of Human Life was one of the submissions with which Lawrence won the Scholarship.

The finalists for the 1923 Scholarship in Decorative Painting were Constance Grant, who submitted The Flight into Egypt, Doris Stacey, The Parable of the Lost Piece of Silver
Hugh Stutfield,  Sophonisba’s Cup, and Alfred Kingsley Lawrence An Allegory of Human Life.



The competition rules required students to submit:
A a design for a decoration 6ft by 4ft consisting of not less than five figures, the principle figures to be not less than half-life size;
B a portion of the cartoon design in colour
C a study showing the complete colour scheme Choice of subject left to the candidate. Time allowed, eight weeks.
This was the first year of the Scholarship in which finalists were allowed to choose their own subject.



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Alfred Kingsley Lawrence
Alfred Kingsley
1893 - 1975

Painter of pictures and murals and draughtsman, born in Lewes, Sussex. He studied at King Edward VII School of Art in Newcastle upon Tyne under Richard Hatton, at Royal College of Art with William Rothenstein and then in Italy as a Prix de Rome winner, 1923. Elected RA in 1938. Lawrence was a fine figure painter and a RA stalwart for many years, his work having a strong underlying draughtsmanship. Also showed RP of which he was a member and widely abroad. Among Lawrence’s notable murals are ones in Laing Art Gallery and Museum, Newcastle; Palace of Westminster; and Bank of England. Lived in London.

During WW1 Lawrence was in the Tyneside Pioneers, and according to Richard Dunning was in the front line 100 yards from Lochnagar when it was blown up. Given that the (unannounced) 27 ton explosion was heard and felt in Kew, it must have unnerved him considerably – fortunately the Pioneers were the only troops, out of 100,000, who didn’t go over the top on that day. Lawrences masterpiece, The Altruists, (first exhibited at British Empire Exhibition, Wembley, 1924, then British Pavilion, 1925 Paris and now lost) showing First World War soldiers and a selection of robed figures grouped on either side of a risen Christ, was his most ambitious serious attempt to sublimate his traumatic WW1 experiences.

With thanks to


Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
A Northumberland Fusilier, 1916
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
Still life with WW2 field instruments
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
Canvassed Guns
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
Study for Persephone
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
Three-quarter Profile Portrait of a Young Girl with a Bob, Looking to her Left, circa 1925
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
First WW soldier with bandaged head, circa 197
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
Profile head and shoulder portrait of a young girl with bob, looking to her right
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
Portrait of a Naval Officer
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
Sergt. Pilot J.C. McWilliams, 1942
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
Rear view Spitfire
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
Allegory of Human Life, 1923
Alfred Kingsley Lawrence (1893 - 1975)
The British School at Rome, circa 1923