by Allan Ramsay
oil on canvas, 1755
39 in. x 29 1/2 in. (991 mm x 749 mm)
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Sitterback to top
- Robert Wood (1716 or 1717-1771), Traveller and classical scholar. Sitter in 2 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Allan Ramsay (1713-1784), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 118 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Ramsay painted this portrait in Rome where Wood was working as tutor to the young Duke of Bridgewater. Wood had already won a reputation as a classical scholar, having led ground-breaking archaeological expeditions to Greece and the Middle East during the early 1750s. He also wrote two key works: the Ruins of Palmyra (1753) and the Ruins of Balbec (1757). These achievements underpin this formal, elegant portrait in which Wood's costume, pose and props, like the map of Greece, communicate the sitter's social and intellectual ambitions. 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).
Linked publicationsback to top
- Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 320
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 121
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 676
- Smart, Alastair, Allan Ramsay, 1713-1784, 1992 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from Catalogue of exhibition held at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, 1 Aug. - 27 Sept. 1992; and the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 16 Oct. 1992 - 17 Jan. 1993.), p. 71
Events of 1755back to top
Current affairsGeorge Grenville resigns as Treasurer of the Navy and Henry Bilson Legge as Chancellor of the Exchequer in protest over payments made to Russia to protect Hanover. William Pitt the Elder is dismissed from the position of Paymaster of the Forces.
Art and scienceSamuel Johnson publishes his monumental Dictionary; the first authoritative dictionary of the English language.Methodist preacher John Wesley publishes Notes on a New Testament.
InternationalAn earthquake nearly completely destroys Lisbon, Portugal. The event is widely discussed by European Enlightenment thinkers, inspiring Voltaire's Candide. Its intensive study leads to the birth of modern seismology and earthquake engineering.Edward Braddock fights French and Indian troops in the Ohio valley. His army are ambushed at Fort Duquesne and he is killed; one of several encounters prior to the declaration of the Seven Years War.
- Portrait of the Day: Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
17 January, 12:30