The Kit-cat Club portraits: paintings by Sir Godfrey Kneller, circa 1697-1721
These portraits are of a group of influential men pledged to uphold the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688 and the Protestant succession. Founded by Somers, the Lord Chancellor and the publisher Tonson, the club began meeting in Christopher Cat's tavern near Temple Bar, and took its name from his mutton pies known as Kit-cats. Members included Whig MPs and landowners as well as writers. The artist, Kneller, adopted a standard 'kit-cat' format of 36 x 28 inches instead of the standard 30 x 25 inches for the portraits. In the 1730s they hung in a special room which Tonson junior had built at his house at Barn Elms.
by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
oil on canvas, circa 1721
On display in Room 9 at the National Portrait Gallery