- Extended Catalogue Entry
by Sir Henry Raeburn
oil on canvas, 1812
50 3/4 in. x 40 in. (1289 mm x 1016 mm)
Given by wish of the sitter's brother, Leonard Horner, 1877
Artistback to top
- Sir Henry Raeburn (1756-1823), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 74 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Francis Horner was a political economist and a founder, with Jeffrey and Sydney Smith, of The Edinburgh Review. This portrait is thought to have been commissioned by Horner's brother Leonard and his wife. Raeburn is known for his distinctive pared-down style in which the sitter is shown without accoutrements and as if emerging into the light from deep shadow. He also made portraits, of which this is an example, using props. Horner's hand rests on an open volume on a table suggesting that he is a man-of-letters but giving the viewer no further clue as to his identity.
Linked publicationsback to top
Events of 1812back to top
Current affairsPrime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons by a bankrupt named John Bellingham. A new administration is formed under Lord Liverpool.
The Toleration Act is passed giving greater freedom of worship to dissenters in order to ensure their political loyalty.
Art and scienceActress Sarah Siddons retires from the London stage. Her final appearance is as Lady Macbeth, the role that made her famous, but the performance has to end after the sleepwalking scene because of the fervour of the audience.
Building of Regent's Canal begins under John Rennie.
InternationalUnited States declares war on Britain over grievances arising from British naval conduct in the French wars. American plan for attack on Canada fails and British troops under Sir Edward Pakenham force surrender of Detroit.
Wellington defeats French at Salamanca and enters Madrid.
Napoleon leads France in disastrous Russian campaign.