© National Portrait Gallery, London
by James Basire, after William Mason Click on the links below to find out more
pencil, (circa 1771)
10 1/4 in. x 8 in. (260 mm x 203 mm)
- Thomas Gray (1716-1771), Classical scholar and poet. Sitter in 13 portraits.
- James Basire (1730-1802), Engraver. Artist associated with 85 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
- William Mason (1725-1797), Poet and divine; friend and biographer of Thomas Gray. Artist associated with 9 portraits, Sitter associated with 10 portraits.
This profile portrait is wreathed by two semi-circular boughs of bay, celebrating Gray as a poet. 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).
Artist Benjamin West exhibits his celebrated modern history painting The Death of Wolfe
at the Royal Academy, commemorating the death of General James Wolfe at the 1759 Battle of Quebec during the Seven Years' War. The painting creates a sensation and George III commissions a copy. Reporting of parliamentary debates is permitted.
Art and science
Richard Arkwright begins to develop cotton mills at Cromford in the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire; one of the earliest factory complexes.Botanist James Robertson makes the first recorded ascent of Ben Nevis.Encyclopedia Britannica
is completed with 2,931 pages. First recorded cricket match is played in Horsham, West Sussex.
First voyage of James Cook ends. HMS Endeavour
anchors in the port of Deal, Kent following its three-year global circumnavigation.Spain cedes the Falkland Islands to Britain.