by Bernard Lens (III)
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, circa 1720
3 1/4 in. x 2 1/2 in. (83 mm x 64 mm)
Bequeathed by George Gery Milner-Gibson-Cullum, 1922
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Sitterback to top
- Martin Folkes (1690-1754), Antiquary. Sitter in 20 portraits, Artist associated with 1 portrait.
Artistback to top
- Bernard Lens (III) (1682-1740), Artist, miniature painter, topographical draughtsman, etcher, limner and drawing master. Artist associated with 7 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Martin Folkes was an antiquary and a man of science. From 1723 he served as vice-president of the Royal Society and then, from 1741-53, as president. He was also president of the Society of Antiquaries from 1750-54 and the author of Tables of English Gold Coins (1736) and Tables of English Silver Coins (1745). In this portrait of him by the celebrated miniaturist Bernard Lens, Folkes is shown with his left hand resting on the quadrant of a scientific instrument. 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
Events of 1720back to top
Current affairsCollapse of the South Sea Company's shares causes financial crisis in London and ruins many investors. Their rapid inflation and the speculation mania it had encouraged become known as the South Sea Bubble. Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend returns to the Whig ministry. Robert Walpole 1st Earl of Orford, who had resigned in 1717, also returns and restores public credit in December.
Art and scienceEntrepreneur Ralph Allen is appointed to take over the Cross and Bye Posts, which manage mail not going via London, leading to his eventual reform of the entire British postal system.
History painter James Thornhill is appointed Serjeant Painter to the King and becomes the first British artist to receive a knighthood.
InternationalTreaty of the Hague signed between Britain, France, Austria, the Dutch Republic and Spain ending the War of the Quadruple Alliance.
In Lhasa, the Dalai Lama accepts Chinese imperial protection, which lasts until 1911.
Two political parties emerge in Sweden's parliament and become known as the Hats and the Caps.