© National Portrait Gallery, London
by John Linnell Click on the links below to find out more
pencil and crayon, 1839
15 in. x 12 1/2 in. (381 mm x 318 mm)
- John Linnell (1792-1882), Painter. Artist associated with 68 portraits, Sitter in 8 portraits.
This drawing shows Harvey Aston on his deathbed. Very little is known about Aston or the circumstances of this drawing, but it is likely that his family commissioned Linnell to memorialise him. During the nineteenth-century, the memory of dead loved ones was often perpetuated through paintings, death-masks and busts, which were viewed as therapeutic aids in the process of grieving.
The Bedchamber crisis strains relations between the government and the monarchy, after Queen Victoria refuses to dismiss her Whig-appointed ladies of the bedchamber at the request of the new, Conservative Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel. Peel resigns and Melbourne returns as Prime Minister. The Grand National is first held at the Aintree race course, won by the horse Lottery, and the first Henley Royal Regatta, the rowing event, is held on the Thames.
Art and science
The French and British scientists Louis Daguerre and William Henry Fox Talbot separately publicise their experiments with the new form of photography. The prolific journalist Harriet Martineau publishes her three decker novel Deerbrook
, the story of middle class country life.
The first Opium War with China is sparked after the British government refuses to try six British soldiers accused of killing a Chinese man protecting a temple from looters. Relations were strained as Britain had promoted the drug opium in China to boost trade. Winning the war, Britain secured vital trading rights. African captives aboard the Spanish ship La Amistad
revolt, resulting in a highly publicised court case.