Sir Joseph Banks, Bt
10 of 14 portraits on display in Room 13 at the National Portrait Gallery
Sir Joseph Banks, Bt
by Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, 1771-1773
50 in. x 40 in. (1270 mm x 1015 mm) overall
Purchased with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Pilgrim Trust, 1986
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Sir Joseph Banks, Bt (1743-1820), Explorer and botanist. Sitter associated with 35 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), Painter and first President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 1413 portraits, Sitter associated with 38 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Banks sat to Reynolds in 1772 and again, after his voyage to Iceland, in 1773, and the freestanding globe in this portrait refers to his travels in search of botanical studies. The inscription on the letter reads CRAS INGENS ITERABIMUS AEQUOR, which may be translated as 'tomorrow we'll sail the vasty deep again'.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Hackmann, W.D., Apples and Atoms: Portraits of Scientists from Newton to Rutherford, 1986, p. 12
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 26
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 33
- 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. 65
- Uglow, Jenny, Character Sketches: Dr Johnson, His Club and Other Friends, 1998, p. 62
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 110
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1771back to top
Current affairsArtist Benjamin West exhibits his celebrated modern history painting The Death of Wolfe at the Royal Academy, commemorating the death of General James Wolfe at the 1759 Battle of Quebec during the Seven Years' War. The painting creates a sensation and George III commissions a copy. Reporting of parliamentary debates is permitted.
Art and scienceRichard Arkwright begins to develop cotton mills at Cromford in the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire; one of the earliest factory complexes.Botanist James Robertson makes the first recorded ascent of Ben Nevis.Encyclopedia Britannica is completed with 2,931 pages. First recorded cricket match is played in Horsham, West Sussex.
InternationalFirst voyage of James Cook ends. HMS Endeavour anchors in the port of Deal, Kent following its three-year global circumnavigation.Spain cedes the Falkland Islands to Britain.
See this portrait
On display in Room 13 at the National Portrait Gallery