- Extended Catalogue Entry
by Allan Ramsay, and studio of Allan Ramsay
oil on canvas, 1740
49 3/4 in. x 39 3/4 in. (1264 mm x 1010 mm)
Artistsback to top
This portraitback to top
Mead was a major collector of rare books and classical statues. He is shown here with a bust which he described as the poet Homer and a full-length statue which probably represents Asclepius, the ancient Greek god of medicine and healing.
More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).
Linked publicationsback to top
- Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 184
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 423
- Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 58, 155 Read entry
Carved and gilt pine, mitred lap joint with bevelled edge, the surface renewed. 2 3⁄ 4 inches wide.
This portrait of the collector and court physician, Dr Mead, has a Bolection frame of a type popular in the late seventeenth century. It is not known when it was fitted to the picture.
Events of 1740back to top
Current affairsThe song Rule, Britannia! by Thomas Arne is performed for the first time at Cliveden, the country home of Frederick, Prince of Wales.
A now discredited account by antiquarian William Stukely asserts that Stonehenge was built by druids.
Art and scienceSamuel Richardson publishes the first two volumes of Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, the best-selling novel of the period.
Artists Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough both arrive in London. Reynolds is apprenticed to the leading portrait-painter Thomas Hudson, while Gainsborough begins his artistic training with the French engraver and illustrator Hubert-Francois Gravelot.
InternationalDeath of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI and the succession of his eldest daughter Maria Térèsa heralds the start of the War of the Austrian Succession. Britain, already fighting Spain (in the War of Jenkin's Ear), is drawn into the wider conflict as an ally of Austria until 1748.
Frederick II becomes King of Prussia.
Pope Benedict XIV succeeds Pope Clement XII as the 247th pope.
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