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Erasmus Darwin

5 of 8 portraits of Erasmus Darwin

Erasmus Darwin, by William Holl Sr, after  J. Rawlinson, and by  Thomas Milton, after  Richard Corbould, published by  Robert John Thornton, published 1 February 1803 - NPG D34341 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Erasmus Darwin

by William Holl Sr, after J. Rawlinson, and by Thomas Milton, after Richard Corbould, published by Robert John Thornton
stipple engraving and etching, published 1 February 1803
18 3/4 in. x 12 7/8 in. (475 mm x 328 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1964
Reference Collection
NPG D34341


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Sitterback to top

  • Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), Physician and poet. Sitter in 8 portraits.

Artistsback to top

  • Richard Corbould (1757-1831), Landscape painter; Book illustrator. Artist associated with 4 portraits, Sitter associated with 2 portraits.
  • William Holl Sr (1771-1838), Engraver. Artist associated with 126 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
  • Thomas Milton (1742 or 1743-1827), Printmaker and topographical draughtsman. Artist associated with 9 portraits.
  • J. Rawlinson. Artist associated with 4 portraits.
  • Robert John Thornton (1768-1837), Physician, writer on botany and publisher. Artist associated with 48 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.

Placesback to top

Events of 1803back to top

Current affairs

The Vice Society is formally established by John Reeves and his associates to campaign against blasphemy and immorality, particularly that perpetrated by Thomas Paine and the Edinburgh Review.

Art and science

Erasmus Darwin's Temple of Nature published posthumously. A scientific treaty in the form of an elaborate couplet poem, its content anticipated some of the evolutionary ideas developed by his grandson, Charles Darwin, fifty years later. Construction of the Caledonian Canal begins.

International

War with France resumes, sparking new fears of a cross-channel invasion. United Irishman, Robert Emmett's attempted uprising in Dublin. Planned to coincide with Napoleon's expected invasion, it aimed to overthrow the English administration but ended in failure. Emmett is hanged along with several other conspirators.

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