© National Portrait Gallery, London
Richard Boyle, 2nd Viscount Shannon
by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt Click on the links below to find out more
oil on canvas, circa 1710
36 in. x 28 in. (914 mm x 711 mm)
Given by the Art Fund, 1945
- Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (1646-1723), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 1682 portraits, Sitter associated with 30 portraits.
This unfinished Kit-Cat Club portrait provides a rare insight into the working methods of the early eighteenth century's leading portraitist. First the canvas was nailed onto its stretcher and primed with a standard grey-green 'ground'. Kneller then painted in the face, probably while the sitter was present. After sketching a few details to indicate wig, pose and hand, Kneller passed the canvas to his team of assistants who each specialised in one aspect of the composition from costume, to props and backgrounds.
- NPG D33119: Richard Boyle, 2nd Viscount Shannon (source portrait)
Clergyman Henry Sacheverell is impeached on account of his sermons in which he attacks the Whig government and the revolution settlement of 1688-9. The trial caused rioting, and revived Jacobites sentiments and resentment against the government. Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, returns to Parliament as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Art and scienceThe Examiner
, a Tory government propaganda journal devised by Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford and Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke, is published. Under its editor, Jonathan Swift, the weekly sheet defended the policies of the new Tory government. The Whigs responded with The Medley
, principally written by Arthur Maynwaring.
Following the victories at the Battles of Almenara and Saragossa in the War of the Spanish Succession, the allied forces experience a set back at the Battle of Brihuega during which, James Stanhope, Earl of Stanhope, Commander in Chief of the British Forces in Spain, is taken prisoner.