by Sir Thomas Lawrence
oil on canvas, 1811
35 1/2 in. x 27 1/2 in. (902 mm x 699 mm)
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Sitterback to top
- Warren Hastings (1732-1818), Governor-General of India. Sitter associated with 46 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), Portrait painter, collector and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 684 portraits, Sitter in 25 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Warren Hastings was Governor-General of Bengal and epitomised the luck, spirit and ruthlessness on which the British empire was built. Arriving in India aged seventeen, he rose swiftly through the ranks of the East India Company, the trading body that held the political reigns of Britain's Asian territories. Though a considerable statesman, doubts began to surface over Hastings's methods and morals. In a parliamentary attack, mounted by the statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke, Hastings was accused of embezzling funds and ordering the judicial murder of a native official. His impeachment and trial, which lasted from 1788-95, became one of the great causes célèbres of the age. Though Hastings was not convicted, Burke's speeches during the trial, outlining the responsibilities owed by conquering powers to subject peoples, prompted a serious re-evaluation of Britain's imperial policy.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 244
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 287
Events of 1811back to top
Current affairsGeorge III's insanity is finally publicly admitted amidst arguments in Parliament over the credibility of his doctors. George, Prince of Wales is appointed Regent despite doubts over his capacity to rule effectively. This prompts the Prince's final split with the Catholic Mrs Fitzherbert, his clandestine wife
Art and scienceJohn Loudon McAdam presents his new road surfacing technique to Parliament.
Jane Austen publishes Sense and Sensibility.
Sculptor Francis Leggatt Chantrey exhibits at the Royal Academy for the first time with a celebrated bust of the radical John Horne Tooke.
InternationalBattle of Albuera; British invade French-held Badajoz in Spain under William Carr Beresford and are victorious over Marshal Soult.
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