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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.

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The Academicians of the Royal Academy

by John Sanders, after Johann Joseph Zoffany
watercolour and ink, (1772)
NPG 1437


Key to 'The Academicians of the Royal Academy'

by John Sanders, after Johann Joseph Zoffany
pencil, circa 1773
NPG 1437a


The Academicians of the Royal Academy

by Richard Earlom, after Johann Joseph Zoffany
mezzotint, published 1773
NPG D21304


Francis Milner Newton

by William Daniell, after George Dance
soft-ground etching, published 1 April 1803 (5 May 1793)
NPG D12089