© National Portrait Gallery, London
Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford
studio of Jean Baptiste van Loo Click on the links below to find out more
oil on canvas, (1740)
49 1/2 in. x 39 1/2 in. (1257 mm x 1003 mm)
This portrait was painted for Lord Bessborough. Walpole is shown in his robes as Chancellor of the Exchequer, wearing the sash and star of the Order of the Garter. 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).
- Audio Guide
- Cooper, John, Visitor's Guide, 2000, p. 51
- Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 198
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 470
The song Rule, Britannia! by Thomas Arne is performed for the first time at Cliveden, the country home of Frederick, Prince of Wales.A now discredited account by antiquarian William Stukely asserts that Stonehenge was built by druids.
Art and science
Samuel Richardson publishes the first two volumes of Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded
, the best-selling novel of the period.Artists Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough both arrive in London. Reynolds is apprenticed to the leading portrait-painter Thomas Hudson, while Gainsborough begins his artistic training with the French engraver and illustrator Hubert-Francois Gravelot.
Death of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI and the succession of his eldest daughter Maria Térèsa heralds the start of the War of the Austrian Succession. Britain, already fighting Spain (in the War of Jenkin's Ear), is drawn into the wider conflict as an ally of Austria until 1748.Frederick II becomes King of Prussia.Pope Benedict XIV succeeds Pope Clement XII as the 247th pope.