© National Portrait Gallery, London
by John Downman Click on the links below to find out more
oil on copper, 1777
8 1/2 in. x 7 in. (216 mm x 178 mm)
Transferred from National Gallery, 1994
- Benjamin West (1738-1820), History painter and President of the Royal Academy. Sitter associated with 43 portraits, Artist associated with 39 portraits.
- John Downman (1750-1824). Artist associated with 34 portraits.
This affectionate portrait was painted by West's former student, John Downman, who described him as 'my most beloved teacher'.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 654
- Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 83
Trent 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 science
Artist 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.
American War of Independence: George Washington, heavily defeated at the Battle of Brandywine, is forced to relinquish Philadelphia to the British under General William Howe. At the two Battles of Saratoga only weeks later General John Burgoyne is forced to surrender to the Americans, marking a turning point in the war. The Continental Congress agrees the final version of the Articles of Confederation, defining the terms on which states join the Union.