5 of 5 portraits of Omai
by Samuel William Reynolds, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, published 1834
8 7/8 in. x 6 3/8 in. (227 mm x 163 mm) plate size; 11 7/8 in. x 9 1/2 in. (302 mm x 241 mm) paper size
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Sitterback to top
- Omai (circa 1753-circa 1780), First Tahitian to visit England. Sitter in 5 portraits.
Artistsback to top
This portraitback to top
The impact of Reynolds painting, which was widely known through this mezzotint, had an important influence on the perception of Omai as a 'noble savage.'
Linked publicationsback to top
- Hackforth-Jones, Jos; Bindman, David; Pratt, Stephanie; Ray, Romita, Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain 1700-1850, 2007 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 March to 17 June 2007), p. 49
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1834back to top
Current affairsSir Robert Peel, Tory, replaces Whig Lord Melbourne as Prime Minister, promising measured reform in a shift from reactionary 'Tory' to more measured 'Conservative' politics (he had voted for the 1832 Reform Act).
Trial of Tolpuddle Martyrs, six labourers transported to Australia after trying to raise funds for workers in need by forming a Friendly Society.
Art and scienceCharles Babbage's invents the Analytic Machine. Considered to be the forerunner to the modern computer, the machine was able to make automatic mathematical calculations.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton publishes his hugely popular, but now largely neglected, novel Last Days of Pompeii, set in the Italian city at the time of Mount Vesuvius' eruption in 79AD.
InternationalDom Miguel I, King of Portugal, is defeated by his brother Pedro IV, in the Portuguese civil war.
Slavery is abolished in the British dominions, although slaves still working are indentured to their former owners in an 'apprenticeship' system; the philanthropist Joseph Sturge was a prominent critic of the policy, which was abolished in 1838. Whilst slave owners received compensation, slaves received nothing.