1 of 49 portraits of John Wilkes
by Unknown artist
silver medal, 1768
2 1/4 in. (57 mm) diameter
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- John Wilkes (1725-1797), Journalist, agitator and politician; MP for Aylesbury and Middlesex. Sitter associated with 49 portraits, Artist associated with 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Issued following Wilkes's arrest for the publication of edition No.45 of his newspaper, The North Briton, in which Ministers were attacked as 'tools of despotism and corruption'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 483
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 662
Events of 1768back to top
Current affairsWilliam Pitt the Elder retires as Prime Minister due to ill health and is succeeded by Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton. Radical outlaw John Wilkes returns to England from France and is elected as MP for Middlesex. He finally surrenders to the King's Bench and is imprisoned.
Art and scienceThe Royal Academy is founded with painter Joshua Reynolds as its first president. Encyclopaedia Britannica begins publication in Edinburgh. It appears in weekly instalments under the editorship of William Smellie.Philip Astley stages the first modern circus in what is now Waterloo.Laurence Sterne publishes A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy.
InternationalCaptain James Cook leads his first expedition to the Pacific from Plymouth, heading for Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus. Boston citizens refuse to quarter British troops amidst growing unrest in the American colonies Corsica is sold to France by the Republic of Genoa.
See this portrait
On display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery
Exhibitions and displays
- Framing the Face: Collars and Ruffs
Until 16 July
- Reproducing Fame: Printmakers and the Nineteenth Century Stage
Until 2 July
- Portrait of the Day: Augustus Pugin
31 January, 12:30