by Angelica Kauffmann
oil on canvas, circa 1777
29 in. x 24 in. (737 mm x 610 mm)
Given by Charles Davis, 1908
Click on the links below to find out more:
Artistback to top
- Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807), Painter. Artist associated with 21 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Portraits are sometimes about disguise or play-acting. This example shows an eighteenth-century sitter - John Simpson - in theatrical 'van Dyck' style costume with slashed doublet, lace collar and extravagant plumed hat. Such seventeenth-century costume had been popular at fancy-dress parties as well as in portraiture since the 1730s. Here the historic style is contrasted with a sculptured pedestal, with a relief of a grieving woman which reflects the rise of sentimental, neo-classical taste in the 1770s.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 437
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 566
Events of 1777back to top
Current affairsTrent and Mersey Canal is completed under the supervision of engineer James Brindley.
Philanthropist and reformer John Howard publishes his study The State of the Prisons in England and Wales.
Art and scienceArtist James Barry begins his monumental series of paintings The Progress of Human Culture for the Great Room of the Society of Arts in London. He completes it in 1783.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan's second play, The School for Scandal, is an immediate success in London's Drury Lane Theatre.
Entrepreneur William Bass establishes the Bass Brewery at Burton upon Trent.