John Clare

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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John Clare

by William Hilton
oil on canvas, circa 1820-1821
30 in. x 25 in. (762 mm x 635 mm)
Purchased, 1907
Primary Collection
NPG 1469

On display in Room 17 on Floor 3 at the National Portrait Gallery

Sitterback to top

  • John Clare (1793-1864), Poet. Sitter associated with 4 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • William Hilton (1786-1839), History painter. Artist or producer associated with 61 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

Commissioned by his publisher John Taylor in 1820, this painting prompted one art critic to observe: 'What life in the eyes! What ardent thirst for excellence, and what flexibility and susceptibility to the outward impression in the quivering lips !'

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1820back to top

Current affairs

George III dies at Windsor Castle on 29 January and George IV ascends to the throne.
'Trial of Queen Caroline' in the House of Lords; Parliament drops the Bill which was to legitimise a divorce between Caroline and George IV.
Cato Street Conspiracy to assassinate the cabinet discovered. Arthur Thistlewood and fellow conspirators are hung.

Art and science

Sir Thomas Lawrence becomes President of the Royal Academy.
Astronomical Society is set up by John Herschel and Charles Babbage.
First iron steamship is launched.

International

Actor, Edmund Kean goes on a successful tour of America after making his name at the Drury Lane Theatre.
Revolutions begin in Spain, Portugal and Naples.
The famous ancient Greek statue of the Venus de Milo is rediscovered on the Island of Melos and purchased by the Louvre in Paris.

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