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John Flaxman

4 of 4 portraits on display on Floor 2: Portraits Tell Stories at Beningbrough Hall

John Flaxman, by Henry Howard, circa 1797 - NPG 674 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

John Flaxman

by Henry Howard
oil on panel, circa 1797
7 5/8 in. x 6 in. (194 mm x 152 mm)
Given by Sir Theodore Martin, 1883
Primary Collection
NPG 674


Click on the links below to find out more:

Sitterback to top

  • John Flaxman (1755-1826), Sculptor. Sitter in 22 portraits, Artist associated with 14 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Henry Howard (1769-1847), Painter. Artist associated with 28 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

This portraitback to top

From the start he had the support of his wife Ann, known as 'Nancy', whom he married in 1782. She was also an artist, but spent much of her time managing his business affairs. This intimate portrait and its pair, representing Ann Flaxman express affection and equality between husband and wife. With their modest, practical costumes, the Flaxmans wanted viewers to know that they were an honest, hard-working couple who did not waste time on luxuries.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG 675: Anne Flaxman (née Denman) (companion portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1797back to top

Current affairs

The Anti-Jacobin periodical makes its debut followed by The Anti-Jacobin Review the year after. Edited by William Gifford, it acted as a Tory mouthpiece against the 'New Morality' associated with republicanism. Bank crisis results in the temporary suspension of payments by the Bank of England leading to a nationwide currency shortage.

Art and science

Robert Southey, later Poet Laureate, publishes his collected Poems, exploring contemporary interest in mythology and non-European cultures. Ann Radcliffe publishes her popular gothic novel The Italian. One of the most imaginative novelists of the period, she helped introduce readers to the romantic sense of the supernatural.

International

Battle of Cape St Vincent. Admiral John Jervis leads the fleet which defeat the Spanish. Failure of a small French invasion in Pembrokeshire. Naval mutinies at Spithead and Nore. Attack on the Canary Islands in which Rear-Admiral Nelson loses an arm.

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