A Consultation prior to the Aerial Voyage to Weilburgh, 1836

1 portrait of Thomas Monck Mason

A Consultation prior to the Aerial Voyage to Weilburgh, 1836, by John Hollins, circa 1836-1838 - NPG 4710 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

A Consultation prior to the Aerial Voyage to Weilburgh, 1836

by John Hollins
oil on canvas, circa 1836-1838
58 in. x 81 1/2 in. (1473 mm x 2064 mm)
Purchased, 1970
Primary Collection
NPG 4710


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Artistback to top

  • John Hollins (1798-1855), Painter. Artist associated with 5 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

Sittersback to top

  • Charles Green (1785-1870), Balloonist. Sitter in 6 portraits.
  • John Hollins (1798-1855), Painter. Sitter in 1 portrait, Artist associated with 5 portraits.
  • Robert Hollond (1808-1877), Lawyer, balloonist and politician; MP for Hastings. Sitter in 2 portraits.
  • Sir William Milbourne James (1807-1881), Lord Justice of Appeal. Sitter in 4 portraits.
  • Thomas Monck Mason (1803-1889), Musician, writer and aeronaut. Sitter in 1 portrait.
  • Walter Prideaux (1806-1889), Lawyer and poet. Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

On 7 November 1836, Thomas Green, the celebrated balloonist, Thomas Monck Mason, the author of Aeronautica, and Robert Holland, the lawyer and MP, made an important voyage from London to Weilburg in the well-known Vauxhall balloon. The journey, a distance of about four hundred and eighty miles, took eighteen hours, a record not beaten for a voyage from England till 1907. Green, Mason and Holland appear in the portrait grouped together on the right as if discussing the intended voyage. On the left are Walter Prideaux and Sir William Milbourne James, lawyer friends of Holland who were interested in the project, and the artist John Hollins. The balloon, surrounded by figures, is seen in the distance.

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1836back to top

Current affairs

William Lovett founds the Working Men's Association, the precursor to Chartism, with the aim to achieving equal social and political rights between men of all classes. A reduction in stamp duty from 4d to 1d helps to keep unstamped newspapers off the street, and leads to wider circulation of legal newspapers. The first railway line is built in London, connecting to Greenwich and operated by the London Greenwich Railway (LGR).

Art and science

The American poet and writer Ralph Waldo Emerson outlines his theory of transcendentalism in Nature, in which he argues for individualism above traditional authority, stressing the infinitude of the private self and the possibility of achieving an original relation to the universe. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer publishes On the Will in Nature, a precursor to his famous The World as Will and Representation.

International

Texas declares its independence from Mexico following a series of battles, including those at the Alamo and Goliad. Sam Houston is the first president of Texas, serving both in 1836-38 and 1841-44. The city of Adelaide is founded in Australia, at the mouth of the Torrens river, named in honour of Queen Adelaide, consort of William IV.

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