William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
by George Frederic Watts
oil on panel, 1859
25 in. x 21 1/2 in. (635 mm x 546 mm)
Given by George Frederic Watts, 1898
Sitterback to top
- William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898), Prime Minister and writer. Sitter associated with 315 portraits.
Artistback to top
- George Frederic Watts (1817-1904), Painter and sculptor. Artist associated with 91 portraits, Sitter in 43 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 248
Events of 1859back to top
Current affairsFormation of the first Liberal cabinet, following the dissolution of Parliament in light of the Liberal and opposition member Lord Russell's introduction of a resolution arguing for widening the franchise, carried because the Conservatives, the ruling party, only have a minority. Palmerston holds a meeting of Whigs, Peelites and Radicals, from which the Liberal Party is formed, and the Queen later invites him to become Prime Minister.
Art and scienceCharles Darwin's The Origin of the Species is published, in which he sets out his theory of evolution based on the process of natural selection, species mutation, and survival of the fittest.
The engineer Joseph Bazalgette begins work on constructing the London sewerage system, following the 'Big Stink' of the preceding summer. Bazalgette's system, now extended, continues to serve London.
InternationalOutbreak of war between an alliance of France and Italian nationalists, and Austria. Napoleon III signs an armistice with Austria. However, pressure from Britain, supporting Italian unification to counterweight French and Austrian influence, leads to success for Italian nationalists.
The first oil well is drilled in America, after Edwin Drake's discovery in Titusville, Pennsylvania, transforming a quiet farming region into Oil Creek.
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