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'The Fine Arts Commissioners, 1846'

11 of 23 portraits of Samuel Rogers

'The Fine Arts Commissioners, 1846', by John Partridge, circa 1846 - NPG 343a - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

'The Fine Arts Commissioners, 1846'

by John Partridge
oil on paper, circa 1846
18 3/4 in. x 33 7/8 in. (476 mm x 860 mm)
Given by John Partridge, 1872
Primary Collection
NPG 343a


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Artistback to top

  • John Partridge (1789-1872), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 41 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

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This portraitback to top

Appointed by the government in 1841 to consider the decoration of the new Houses of Parliament, the Commission organised competitions, and subsequently ordered frescoes, statues and other works of art from a wide range of artists. This is a study for Partridge's large picture of the Fine Arts Commissioners.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG 342: The Fine Arts Commissioners, 1846 (finished work)

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Events of 1846back to top

Current affairs

The Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel divides his own party by repealing the unpopular Corn Laws, which prohibited the import of cheap grain from overseas, viewed by many as causing the famines in Ireland (which peaked in this year), as well as domestic hardships following a bad harvest. Peel, defeated on a separate issue, resigns. The Whig Earl Russell becomes Prime Minister.

Art and science

Ether is used for the first time as anaesthetic in an operation by the dentist William Morton, while surgeon John Collins Warren removes a tumor on a patient's neck. Edward Lear, the popular humourist and artist, and author of illustrated nonsense verse (including 'The Owl and the Pussycat'), publishes his Book of Nonsense.

International

The first Anglo-Sikh war ends with the Treaty of Lahore, by which Jammu and Kashmir are ceded to the British. The war had been fought between the Sikh kingdom of the Punjab and the British East India Company, with conflict escalating after internal disorder in the Punjab led the East India Company to increase their military presence on the border.

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