Charles James Fox
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Charles James Fox
by Thomas Day
watercolour and bodycolour on ivory, 1787
2 5/8 in. x 2 in. (67 mm x 51 mm) oval
Transferred from National Gallery, 1994
Sitterback to top
- Charles James Fox (1749-1806), Whig statesman. Sitter associated with 308 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 163
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 227
- Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 75 Read entry
Charles James Fox, one of the great champions of reform and religious equality, who fought for the abolition of the slave trade, supported the rights of the American colonists and even welcomed the French Revolution, was a favourite subject with the cartoonists James Sayers, James Gillray and George Cruikshank, who made the most of his swarthy face and corpulent body. An observer in 1781 said that 'his features, dark, harsh and saturnine, like those of Charles II, from whom he descended in the maternal line, derived a sort of majesty from the addition of two black and shaggy eyebrows ...' (Wraxall, Memoirs, 1884, II, p 2). Thomas Day, one of a large and confusing family of artists, is believed to have been taught the art of miniature painting by Ozias Humphry. His portrait of Fox is clearly signed and dated TD 1787, the year of Fox's attack on Warren Hastings (see NPG 6286) in the House of Commons.
Events of 1787back to top
Current affairsSocial reformers Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson found the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade in London with support from John Wesley, Josiah Wedgwood and others.
George III shows first signs of mental instability in November.
Art and sciencePainter Robert Barker takes out a patent on the Panorama..
Astronomer William Herschel discovers the two moons of Uranus, Titania and Oberon.
The original Lord's Cricket Ground holds its first cricket match.
InternationalCaptain William Bligh sets sail for Tahiti on The Bounty.
First performance of composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Don Giovanni at the National Theatre, Prague.
A British ship lands a party of freed slaves as the first modern settlers in Sierra Leone.
Captain Arthur Phillip leaves Portsmouth with eleven ships full of convicts to establish a penal colony in Australia.
Bahamas become a British colony.
Listen to a series of podcasts exploring the lives of pioneering women, past and present.
William Eggleston was closely associated with the alternative music scene in Memphis. Revisit our 2016 exhibition and listen to a special playlist.
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