'A Conversation of Virtuosis...at the Kings Arms'

'A Conversation of Virtuosis...at the Kings Arms', by Gawen Hamilton, 1735 - NPG 1384 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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'A Conversation of Virtuosis...at the Kings Arms'

by Gawen Hamilton
oil on canvas, 1735
34 1/2 in. x 43 7/8 in. (876 mm x 1115 mm)
Purchased, 1904
Primary Collection
NPG 1384

On display in Room 10 at the National Portrait Gallery

Artistback to top

  • Gawen Hamilton (1697?-1737), Portrait painter. Artist of 1 portrait, Sitter in 1 portrait.

Sittersback to top

  • Bernard Baron (1696-1762), Engraver. Sitter in 1 portrait, Artist associated with 36 portraits.
  • Charles Bridgeman (1690-1738), Landscape gardener. Sitter in 1 portrait.
  • Michael Dahl (1659-1743), Portrait painter. Sitter in 2 portraits, Artist associated with 166 portraits.
  • James Gibbs (1682-1754), Architect. Sitter in 11 portraits, Artist associated with 1 portrait.
  • Joseph Goupy (1689-1769), Watercolour painter. Sitter in 2 portraits, Artist associated with 1 portrait.
  • Gawen Hamilton (1697?-1737), Portrait painter. Sitter in 1 portrait, Artist of 1 portrait.
  • Hans Hysing (1678-1752 or 1753), Portrait painter. Sitter in 1 portrait, Artist associated with 36 portraits.
  • William Kent (1685?-1748), Architect, painter and landscape gardener. Sitter associated with 8 portraits, Artist associated with 4 portraits.
  • Matthew Robinson (1694-1778), Artist. Sitter in 1 portrait.
  • John Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770), Sculptor. Sitter in 7 portraits, Artist associated with 15 portraits.
  • William Thomas (circa 1677-1764), Antiquary. Sitter in 1 portrait.
  • George Vertue (1683-1756), Engraver and antiquary. Sitter in 7 portraits, Artist associated with 864 portraits.
  • John Wootton (circa 1682-1764), Painter of sporting subjects and landscapes. Sitter in 1 portrait, Artist associated with 6 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Painted in 1734-5 to 'promote his interest' (the completed picture was raffled, each sitter paying four guineas). Grouped round Matthew Robinson, amateur draughtsman and father of Elizabeth Montagu, the blue-stocking, are some of the leading artists and architects of the 1730s, who used to meet at the King's Arms in New Bond Street, London.

From the left:
George Vertue, antiquary and engraver, 1683-1756, who described the picture in his Notebooks.
Hans Hysing, portrait painter, 1678-1753
Michael Dahl (seated), portrait painter, 1659-1743
William Thomas, antiquary, circa 1677-1764
James Gibbs, architect, 1682-1754
Joseph Goupy, watercolour painter, 1689-1769, who won the picture when raffled in 1735
Matthew Robinson (seated), amateur artist, circa 1694-1778, whose family later owned the picture
Charles Bridgeman, landscape gardener, died 1738
Bernard Baron, engraver, 1696-1762
John Wootton, landscape painter, circa 1682-1765
John Michael Rysbrack, sculptor, 1694-1770
Gawen Hamilton, painter of the picture, circa 1697-1737
William Kent, architect, 1685-1748 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

Placesback to top

Events of 1735back to top

Current affairs

Second Parliament under George III. Robert Walpole maintains a substantial majority. Lord Bolingbroke gives up active opposition to Walpole and retires to France. Walpole moves into 10 Downing Street.
Welsh Methodist revival begins.

Art and science

Celebrated dandy Richard 'Beau' Nash appoints himself Master of Ceremonies at Tunbridge Wells.
William Hogarth founds the second St Martin's Lane Academy of Painting.
Lawyer and amateur meteorologist George Hadley publishes the first explanation of the trade winds


Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus publishes a 'system of nature', capable of classifying all living things.
Swedish chemist Georg Brandt discovers a new metallic element, which he names cobalt.
A revivalist movement in America, led by Jonathan Edwards, becomes known as the Great Awakening.
Composer Johann Sebastian Bach debuts his Ascension Oratorio in Leipzig.

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