1 of 11 portraits of Kitty Fisher
by Nathaniel Hone
oil on canvas, 1765
29 1/2 in. x 24 1/2 in. (749 mm x 622 mm)
Bequeathed by John Baring, 2nd Baron Revelstoke, 1929
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Catherine Maria ('Kitty') Fisher (circa 1741-died 1767), Courtesan. Sitter associated with 11 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Nathaniel Hone (1718-1784), Portrait and miniature painter. Artist associated with 56 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Catherine Maria Fisher, a courtesan, was known for her beauty, wit and daring horsemanship. This picture would appear to be that exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1765 and described by the Public Advertiser as 'a portrait of a Lady whose charms are well known to the town. The painter has ingeniously attempted to acquaint us with her name by a rebus upon Canvass. By her side a Kitten (Kitty) is attempting to get into a basin of Gold Fish (Kitty Fisher)'. The reflection in the goldfish bowl of the crowd of people watching through the window is a striking comment on the nature of celebrity. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Cooper, John, A Guide to the National Portrait Gallery, 2009, p. 31
- Gibson, Robin, The Face in the Corner: Animal Portraits from the Collections of the National Portrait Gallery, 1998, p. 44
- Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 74
- Robin Gibson, Pets in Portraits, 2015, p. 73
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 218
- Schama, Simon, The Face of Britain: The Nation Through its Portraits, 2015-09-15, p. 306
Events of 1765back to top
Current affairsGeorge Grenville is dismissed as Prime Minister. He is succeeded by Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham.Isle of Man is brought under British control. Stamp Act requires that printed materials in the colonies, such as legal documents and newspapers, are produced on paper made in London carrying an embossed revenue stamp.
Art and scienceNevil Maskelyne becomes Astronomer Royal.Writer Samuel Johnson publishes his edition of Shakespeare. Inventor James Watt makes a breakthrough in the development of the steam engine by constructing a model with a separate condenser.Judge and politician William Blackstone publishes his influential work Commentaries on the Laws of England.
InternationalRobert Clive secures the rights for the East India Company to collect taxes in Bengal from Mughal Emperor Shah Alam.American campaigners against the Stamp Act organise themselves as the Sons of Liberty in Massachusetts and New York.
See this portrait
On display in Room 12 at the National Portrait Gallery