14 of 36 portraits on display in Room 14: miniature case at the National Portrait Gallery
by Unknown artist
enamel on copper, circa 1784
1 5/8 in. (41 mm) diameter
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This portraitback to top
George Cumberland was a writer, collector and amateur artist; he was also the art critic for the Morning Chronicle, 1780-84. He was also the author of critical catalogues of engravings. This enamel miniature of Cumberland was made when he was about thirty and shows him with a ruined classical column and a classical statuette.
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Events of 1784back to top
Current affairsTheatre proprietor and postal reformer John Palmer runs the first mail coach in England, between Bristol and London. A three day journey is now completed in 16 hours.
Commutation Act reduces punitive duties on tea to combat smuggling.
Art and scienceAeronaut James Sadler makes the first hot air balloon flight in Britain, from Oxford to Woodeaton.
Chemist Henry Cavendish's paper Experiments on Air reveals the composition of water.
Writer Samuel Johnson dies.
Joshua Reynolds succeeds Allan Ramsay as Painter to the King.
InternationalThomas Jefferson's Land Ordinance passed by the United States' Continental Congress, coming into effect the following year. It allows for the sale of land in the largely unmapped west of the country.
Britain receives its first bales of cotton from the United States since before the War of American Independence.
William Pitt's India Act creates a Board of Control to oversee the affairs of the British East India Company and centralise power.
See this portrait
On display in Room 14: miniature case at the National Portrait Gallery
Exhibitions and displays
- Framing the Face: Collars and Ruffs
Until 16 July
- Life, Death and Memory
Until 16 March 2018
- Reproducing Fame: Printmakers and the Nineteenth Century Stage
Until 31 July