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Immortal Diners


4 People in sitter grouping:

On the evening of Sunday 28th December, 1817, the ambitious history painter Benjamin Robert Haydon hosted a dinner for a select party of seven men. Guests arrived at the unusually early time of 3pm to Haydon's home at 22 Lisson Grove, London. The evening served a dual purpose for Haydon, who was able to unveil his recent paintings to guests and introduce his old friend William Wordsworth to his more recent acquaintance John Keats. On the evening, the room was dominated by Haydon's huge portrait of Christ's entry in Jerusalem, which included portraits of the poets Wordsworth and Keats, alongside Isaac Newton and Voltaire. The lively conversations and debates were recorded by Haydon in his diaries, who noted the guests had 'a frank, natural license....every man expressing his natural emotions without fear'. Twenty years later, he reflected on the dinner and observed that the supper 'was indeed an immortal evening'.

Benjamin Robert Haydon

Benjamin Robert Haydon

1786-1846
History painter and diarist
Sitter in 10 portraits | Artist associated with 34 portraits
John Keats

John Keats

1795-1821
Poet
Sitter in 15 portraits | Artist associated with 2 portraits
Charles Lamb

Charles Lamb

1775-1834
Essayist and poet
Sitter in 11 portraits
William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

1770-1850
Poet Laureate
Sitter in 23 portraits