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Lawrence Sully

Kilkenny, Ireland 1769

Richmond, Virginia 1804

Luce Artist Biography

Lawrence Sully came to America in 1792, and married Sarah Annis of Annapolis. Lawrence’s younger brother and fellow painter, Thomas Sully, came to live and study with him in 1799. Thomas, however, showed greater talent than his older brother and came to support the entire family with the profits from his paintings. In 1803, Lawrence left his wife and children in Norfolk under the care of Thomas and traveled to Richmond in search of commissions. A year later, Thomas received word that his brother had died, and although the exact cause of death is unknown, it is thought that Lawrence was killed in a fight with a group of drunken sailors. Thomas married Lawrence’s widow in 1806.