by Nathaniel Hone
oil on canvas, circa 1766
49 1/2 in. x 39 1/4 in. (1257 mm x 997 mm)
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Artistback to top
- Nathaniel Hone (1718-1784), Portrait and miniature painter. Artist associated with 56 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Wesley was the founder of the Methodist movement which grew from the 'Holy Club' of his Oxford friends into a great religious revival. An indefatigable traveller, preacher and writer, Wesley averaged 8,000 miles a year on horseback and gave 15 sermons a week. The reluctance of the Anglican clergy to lend him their pulpits led him to give some of his sermons in the open air, a decision which enabled him to reach those among the poorer sections of society who were not accustomed to going to church. Here Wesley is depicted preaching in a rural setting. 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).
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Events of 1766back to top
Current affairsCharles Edward Stuart ('Bonnie Prince Charlie') becomes the new Stuart claimant to the throne of Great Britain and figurehead for Jacobitism on the death of his father James Stuart, Pretender since 1701.Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham is dismissed as Prime Minister and succeeded by William Pitt the Elder.Stamp Act, passed the previous year, is repealed.
Art and scienceSwiss painter Angelica Kauffmann settles in London.Oliver Goldsmith publishes his novel The Vicar of Wakefield. Chemist Henry Cavendish publishes his paper 'On Factitious Airs' which is generally credited with showing the discovery of hydrogen.First golf club in England opens at Blackheath in Kent.Christie's auction house is founded in London.
InternationalNavigator and Royal Navy officer John Byron returns to England after his circumnavigation of the globe; the first to be completed in under two years. He takes possession of the Falkland Islands on behalf of Britain during his voyage. German writer Gotthold Leopold Lessing publishes his important work of literary criticism Laokoon; An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry.
See this portrait
On display in Room 11 at the National Portrait Gallery