10 of 43 portraits of Benjamin West
by Jonathan Spilsbury
mezzotint, late 18th century
8 7/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. (227 mm x 188 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
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Sitterback to top
- Benjamin West (1738-1820), History painter and President of the Royal Academy. Sitter associated with 43 portraits, Artist associated with 39 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Jonathan Spilsbury (baptised 1737-1812), Printmaker and portrait painter. Artist associated with 52 portraits.
Events of 1770back to top
Current affairsAugustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton resigns as Prime Minister and is succeeded by Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford.
Art and scienceOliver Goldsmith publishes his poem The Deserted Village.
Philosopher and politician Edmund Burke publishes Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents discussing the limits of the King's authority.
17-year-old Thomas Chatterton, later hailed as a significant poet, commits suicide in a London garret.
Thomas Gainsborough paints his portrait of Jonathan Buttall, which later becomes known as The Blue Boy.
International'Townshend duties' on imports into the colonies are repealed, except for the duty on tea. However, this concession is soon followed by the Boston Massacre, in which British troops fire into an unruly crowd in Boston, killing five.
Captain Cook reaches the eastern coast of Australia, at a place which he names Botany Bay. He discovers the Great Barrier Reef when HMS Endeavour runs onto it. Cook claims New South Wales for the British.