by Thomas Skaife
watercolour on ivory, 1848
4 3/8 in. x 3 3/8 in. (111 mm x 86 mm) oval
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Events of 1848back to top
Current affairsLed by Feargus O'Connor, up to 50,000 Chartist members meet on Kennington Common, to form a procession and present another petition to Parliament. Although there was a large military and police presence, the rally was peaceful.
Art and scienceThe Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood a group of English painters, poets and critics, is founded by John Everett Millais, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Holman Hunt, intent on reforming art by rejecting the artists who imitated Raphael and Michelangelo. Instead, they advocated a return to a close observation of nature, invested with the intense detail, colours, and compositions of Quattrocento Italian and Flemish art, producing works layered with symbolism.
InternationalFollowing the fall of the French monarchy, revolutions take place in France, Germany and Italy, provoked by a widespread desire for political independence from repressive regimes, and a range of economic problems which had caused unemployment, food shortages and poverty. Louis Napoleon becomes the first President of France's Second Republic.
The first gold rush takes place in America, after gold is found on the Sacramento river, California.