© National Portrait Gallery, London
by George Romney, after Rhodes Click on the links below to find out more
oil on canvas, 1779 (circa 1779)
30 in. x 25 1/4 in. (765 mm x 643 mm)
- John Smeaton (1724-1792), Civil engineer. Sitter in 3 portraits.
- Rhodes (died 1790), Artist. Artist associated with 1 portrait.
- George Romney (1734-1802), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 159 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
With Smeaton's Eddystone lighthouse visible in the background; painted for the writer and MP, Sir Richard Sullivan.
- Hart-Davis, Adam, Chain Reactions, 2000, p. 64
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 439
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 568
Admiral Augustus Keppel, First Lord of the Admiralty during the final years of the American War of Independence is tried and acquitted at court martial of misconduct at the Battle of Ushant the previous year. His case becomes a cause célèbre
.Botanist Joseph Banks tells a committee of the House of Commons that the east coast of Australia is suitable for the transportation of convicted felons.Penitentiary Act authorises state prisons.
Art and science
Swiss artist Henry Fuseli settles in London after nine years in Rome. Painter and President of the Royal Academy Joshua Reynolds' celebrated Discourses
on art are published as a book. World's first iron bridge is assembled across the Severn at Coalbrookdale.Inventor Samuel Crompton introduces the Spinning Mule.John Newton and William Cowper's Olney Hymns
is published, containing the first printed version of Amazing Grace
American War of Independence: Spain, in alliance with France and the US, declares war on Britain. Great Siege of Gibraltar begins, in which French and Spanish forces try to wrest power from the established British Garrison, under the leadership of General George Augustus Eliot.Captain James Cook is killed in a skirmish with natives on the Sandwich Islands on his third and final voyage.