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James Bradley

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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James Bradley

after Thomas Hudson
oil on panel, feigned oval, circa 1833-1840, based on a work of circa 1742-1747
10 1/4 in. x 8 3/8 in. (260 mm x 213 mm)
Purchased, 1896
Primary Collection
NPG 1073

Sitterback to top

  • James Bradley (1693-1762), Astronomer Royal. Sitter in 4 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Thomas Hudson (1701-1779), Portrait painter and art collector. Artist associated with 182 portraits.

This portraitback to top

A 19th-century copy of the earliest known portrait of this celebrated astronomer, perhaps taken from Faber's engraving of the same size, which was probably made from the portrait belonging to the Royal Society. 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).

Related worksback to top

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Subjects & Themesback to top

Events of 1742back to top

Current affairs

Robert Walpole resigns as Prime Minister following the scandal surrounding the alleged rigging of the Chippenham by-election. He is made 1st Earl of Orford. Carteret administration formed with Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington as Prime Minister.

Art and science

Composer George Frideric Handel's Messiah is first performed at The Great Music Hall in Dublin.
Ranelagh Gardens opens in Chelsea.
Writer Edmond Hoyle publishes the definitive rules of whist.
James Bradley succeeds Edmond Halley as Astronomer Royal.
Painter Charles Jervas' translation of Don Quixote is posthumously published.

International

War of the Austrian Succession: Treaty of Berlin, mediated by Britain, is signed by Maria Theresa of Austria and Frederick II of Prussia, ending the First Silesian War. George II acts as guarantor.
Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius proposes 100 degrees between the freezing and boiling points of water.

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