- Extended Catalogue Entry
by Thomas Gainsborough
oil on canvas, 1770
29 3/4 in. x 24 7/8 in. (756 mm x 632 mm)
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- David Garrick (1717-1779), Actor, playwright and theatre manager. Sitter associated with 56 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), Portrait and landscape painter. Artist associated with 262 portraits, Sitter in 8 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Described as 'very like' when seen by Horace Walpole at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1770, the portrait was retained by Gainsborough in his studio for two years while he made a copy which he told Garrick was intended 'to hang in my own parlour, to look when I please at a Great Man, who has thought me worthy of some little notice'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Cooper, John, Great Britons: The Great Debate, 2002, p. 48
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 182
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 238
- Schama, Simon, The Face of Britain: The Nation Through its Portraits, 2015-09-15, p. 295
Events of 1770back to top
Current affairsAugustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton resigns as Prime Minister and is succeeded by Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford.
Art and scienceOliver Goldsmith publishes his poem The Deserted Village.
Philosopher and politician Edmund Burke publishes Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents discussing the limits of the King's authority.
17-year-old Thomas Chatterton, later hailed as a significant poet, commits suicide in a London garret.
Thomas Gainsborough paints his portrait of Jonathan Buttall, which later becomes known as The Blue Boy.
International'Townshend duties' on imports into the colonies are repealed, except for the duty on tea. However, this concession is soon followed by the Boston Massacre, in which British troops fire into an unruly crowd in Boston, killing five.
Captain Cook reaches the eastern coast of Australia, at a place which he names Botany Bay. He discovers the Great Barrier Reef when HMS Endeavour runs onto it. Cook claims New South Wales for the British.
- Lunchtime Lecture: Thomas Gainsborough: Chameleon of Art
5 October, 13:15
- In Conversation: Catherine Opie with Dr Nicholas Cullinan
2 October, 14:00