- Extended Catalogue Entry
by James Jefferys
ink and pencil, circa 1774-1775
19 1/2 in. x 16 3/4 in. (495 mm x 425 mm)
Purchased with help from the Art Fund, 1969
Sitterback to top
- James Jefferys (1751-1784), History painter. Sitter in 1 portrait, Artist of 1 portrait.
Artistback to top
- James Jefferys (1751-1784), History painter. Artist of 1 portrait, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Jefferys's self-portrait depicts him gazing into the distance, his forehead furrowed in concentration. He holds a 'porte crayon', used for holding chalk, and his hand rests on his unfinished drawing which depicts a biblical scene, The Massacre of the Innocents. The books, labelled Spencer, Homer, Milton and Nature, present his talent as rooted in the study of history, the classics, poetry and observation. This image not only promotes Jefferys as an artist but also celebrates drawing by using it to symbolise artistic inspiration.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 284
- Rogers, Malcolm, Master Drawings from the National Portrait Gallery, 1993 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 August to 23 October 1994), p. 55
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 334
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The Art of Drawing: Portraits from the Collection, 1670-1780 (19 October 2012 - 19 May 2013)
- Late Eighteenth Century Prints and Drawings (17 April 2004 - 5 September 2004)
Events of 1774back to top
Current affairsPhilanthropist and reformer John Howard is called before the House of Commons Select Committee to give evidence on the shocking conditions in prisons across the country.
Young Tahitian Omai arrives in England after making contact with Captain James Cook on his second voyage. He is introduced into London Society by Joseph Banks and is much admired.
Coercive or 'Intolerable' Acts are passed in response to the crisis in the American colonies.
Art and sciencePhilosopher and chemist Joseph Priestley isolates oxygen in the form of a gas.
Artist Thomas Gainsborough moves from Bath to set up a studio in London.
Royal Crescent, Bath, designed by John Wood the Younger, is completed.
Methodist preacher John Wesley publishes his pamphlet Thoughts Upon Slavery which argues against slavery.
InternationalJohann Wolfgang von Goethe publishes his romantic novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, bringing him an immediate European reputation.
In retaliation for the Boston Tea Party, the port of Boston is closed under the first of the British government's Coercive Acts. Delegates from twelve American colonies meet in Philadelphia and agree not to import any goods from Britain.
Death of Louis XV of France. Louis XVI succeeds.
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