Charles Burney

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Charles Burney

by Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, 1781
29 1/2 in. x 24 in. (749 mm x 610 mm)
Purchased, 1953
Primary Collection
NPG 3884

On display in Room 18 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery

Sitterback to top

  • Charles Burney (1726-1814), Musician and historian of music. Sitter in 10 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), Painter and first President of the Royal Academy. Artist or producer associated with 1424 portraits, Sitter associated with 39 portraits.

Related worksback to top

Events of 1781back to top

Current affairs

American painter John Singleton Copley, now resident in London, completes his celebrated painting The Death of the Earl of Chatham, depicting the collapse of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham on 7 April 1778, during a debate in the House of Lords on the American War of Independence.
William Pitt the Younger, later Prime Minister, enters Parliament.

Art and science

Astronomer William Herschel discovers Uranus, the first planet to be found by means of a telescope, and names it Georgium Sidus (George's Star) in honour of George III.
Artist and theatre designer Philip James De Loutherbourg presents his innovative miniature mechanical theatre, the Eidophusikon, at his house in Soho, London.

International

American War of Independence: British general Charles Cornwallis is forced to surrender at Yorktown. Maryland ratifies the Articles of Confederation - the last state to do so - completing 'the Confederation of the United States'.
Zong Massacre: 133 Africans are thrown overboard the slave ship Zong on the orders of a British slave-trader who then attempts to reclaim their value from insurers. The case becomes a landmark in the fight for abolition.

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