© National Portrait Gallery, London
by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey Click on the links below to find out more
hand-coloured etching, published 23 May 1791
14 in. x 9 7/8 in. (355 mm x 250 mm) plate size; 14 1/2 in. x 10 3/8 in. (367 mm x 262 mm) paper size
- Thomas Paine (1737-1809), Author of 'The Rights of Man'. Sitter in 12 portraits.
- James Gillray (1756-1815), Caricaturist. Artist associated with 881 portraits, Sitter in 7 portraits.
- Hannah Humphrey (active 1778-1822), Publisher and printseller. Artist associated with 718 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
Thomas Paine publishes his inflammatory and widely read Rights of Man
in response to Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France
of the previous year. The work advocates radical revolution and prompts a trial for seditious libel that takes place in his absence.The Catholic Relief Act is passed, repealing the most severe penal laws.
Art and science
Astronomer William Herschel discovers Uranus.Robert Burns publishes Tam O'Shanter
, combining the Scottish vernacular with the formal traditions of classical English poetry and exploring radical ideas of freedom.The Observer
newspaper is founded.The Ordnance Survey
is set up to prepare detailed maps of the country.
Mozart composes The Magic Flute
.The Declaration of the Rights of Man
establishes liberal freedoms in France The French Constitution is passed by the National Assembly. Louis XVI flees Paris with his family but is captured at Varennes.William Pitt declares Britain will remain neutral in any war against France.