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Francis Milner Newton (1720-1794), Portrait painter
Sitter in 4 portraits
Although Francis Newton worked as a professional portrait painter, his historical significance lies in the role he played in the formation and organisation of art institutions. He was involved in formulating the initial plans for a national academy of art, which culminated in 1760 in the first exhibition held by the artists of Great Britain in the gallery of the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce. A number of schisms between the artists involved led to the formation of a new society, the Royal Academy of Arts, under the patronage of King George III. Newton was elected as its first secretary and he exhibited eight portraits at the Royal Academy from 1769 to 1774.