- Extended Catalogue Entry
by Bernard Lens (III)
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, circa 1720
3 1/4 in. x 2 1/2 in. (83 mm x 64 mm)
Bequeathed by George Gery Milner-Gibson-Cullum, 1922
Sitterback to top
- Martin Folkes (1690-1754), Antiquary. Sitter in 20 portraits, Artist associated with 1 portrait.
Artistback to top
- Bernard Lens (III) (1682-1740), Artist, miniature painter, topographical draughtsman, etcher, limner and drawing master. Artist associated with 7 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
In this image, Folkes hand rests on the quadrant of an unidentified scientific instrument.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 76
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 222
- Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 57 Read entry
The portrait of Martin Folkes by Bernard Lens shows the distinguished antiquary and scientist holding a quadrant, emblematic of the close relations between the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries and freemasonry. He had been elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1714, sat to Lens in 1720, the year he joined the Antiquaries, and eventually became president of both societies. Hogarth's magnificent portrait of him, made twenty years later, is in the Royal Society collection.
Events of 1720back to top
Current affairsCollapse 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 scienceEntrepreneur 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.
InternationalTreaty 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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