Unknown man, formerly known as John Aislabie

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Unknown man, formerly known as John Aislabie

by Unknown artist
oil on canvas, circa 1720
16 3/4 in. x 15 1/4 in. (425 mm x 387 mm)
Purchased, 1915
Primary Collection
NPG 1754

Sitterback to top

  • John Aislabie (1670-1742), Whig politician; Chancellor of the Exchequer. Sitter associated with 1 portrait.

Artistback to top

  • Unknown artist, Artist. Artist or producer associated with 6577 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This picture does not appear to represent the same person as the only certain portrait of John Aislabie. The sitter looks about thirty and the wig suggests a date c.1720. The artist would seem to be working in the tradition of Sir Godfrey Kneller but it is not possible to be more precise.

More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1720back to top

Current affairs

Collapse of the South Sea Company's shares causes financial crisis in London and ruins many investors. Their rapid inflation and the speculation mania it had encouraged become known as the South Sea Bubble. Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend returns to the Whig ministry. Robert Walpole 1st Earl of Orford, who had resigned in 1717, also returns and restores public credit in December.

Art and science

Entrepreneur Ralph Allen is appointed to take over the Cross and Bye Posts, which manage mail not going via London, leading to his eventual reform of the entire British postal system.
History painter James Thornhill is appointed Serjeant Painter to the King and becomes the first British artist to receive a knighthood.


International

Treaty of the Hague signed between Britain, France, Austria, the Dutch Republic and Spain ending the War of the Quadruple Alliance.
In Lhasa, the Dalai Lama accepts Chinese imperial protection, which lasts until 1911.
Two political parties emerge in Sweden's parliament and become known as the Hats and the Caps.

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