4 of 4 portraits on display in Room 17 at the National Portrait Gallery
by James Gillray
watercolour on ivory, circa 1800
3 in. x 2 1/2 in. (76 mm x 64 mm) oval
Given by Charles Bagot, 1859
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Sitterback to top
- James Gillray (1756-1815), Caricaturist. Sitter in 7 portraits, Artist associated with 881 portraits.
Artistback to top
- James Gillray (1756-1815), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 881 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Gillray was the greatest and most definitive political and social caricaturist of the age, producing caricatures of royalty, politics and social life. This self-portrait shows him around 1800 when he was at the height of his powers, turning out formidable Napoleonic satires and siding with William Pitt. The miniature may have been given to his friend and publisher Hannah Humphrey.
Related worksback to top
Linked publicationsback to top
- Holmes, Richard, Insights: The Romantic Poets and Their Circle, 2005, p. 40
- Holmes, Richard, The Romantic Poets and Their Circle, 2013, p. 51
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 247
- Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 99
- Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 215
- Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantic Icons, 1999, p. 35
Events of 1800back to top
Current affairsWidespread food riots after poor harvests of 1798-9. Theorist, Thomas Malthus, controversially argues that poverty and food shortages are an inevitable consequence of population growth, challenging assumptions that populousness was a sign of national prosperity and power. His thesis contributed forcefully to the debate over the existing Poor Law.
Art and scienceWilliam Wordsworth publishes his Preface to the Lyrical Ballads; a retrospective explanation of his experimental poems written with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It becomes one of the best-known manifestos of Romantic literature.
InternationalLord Castlereagh, Chief Secretary for Ireland, is the main architect of the Act of Union under which Ireland is merged with Great Britain and the Irish parliament is abolished.British troops support successful uprising by Maltese against the French.Napoleon is victorious against Austrians at Marengo and reconquers Italy.
See this portrait
On display in Room 17 at the National Portrait Gallery