© National Portrait Gallery, London
Alexander van Aken
by Thomas Hudson Click on the links below to find out more
oil on canvas, feigned oval, engraved 1748
29 5/8 in. x 25 in. (752 mm x 635 mm)
- Alexander van Aken (1701-1757), Painter and engraver. Sitter in 3 portraits, Artist associated with 20 portraits.
- Thomas Hudson (1701-1779), Portrait painter and art collector. Artist associated with 182 portraits.
This portrait of the artist holding his palette is an essay by Hudson in the Rembrandt manner.
In his role as magistrate, Henry Fielding organises the forerunner of the Bow Street Runners, effectively London's first police force. Fire in the City of London causes over a million pounds worth of damage.
Art and science
Tobias Smollett publishes The Adventures of Roderick Random
.Samuel Richardson publishes Clarissa
; the longest novel in the English language.Philosopher David Hume publishes An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding
.Physician John Fothergill's pamphlet Account of the Sore Throat attended with Ulcers
contains the first description of diphtheria.
Ancient Roman city of Pompeii is rediscovered near Naples, further fuelling a resurgence of interest in the antique among British collectors such as the diplomat Sir William Hamilton. Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle ends the War of the Austrian Succession.French writer Montesquieu anonymously publishes his influential treatise on political theory L'Esprit des Lois
(The Spirit of the Laws).