- Extended Catalogue Entry
by George Romney
oil on canvas, 1784
49 1/2 in. x 39 in. (1257 mm x 991 mm)
Sitterback to top
- George Romney (1734-1802), Portrait painter. Sitter in 5 portraits, Artist associated with 162 portraits.
Artistback to top
- George Romney (1734-1802), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 162 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait was painted in 1784 when Romney was fifty and staying at Eartham, the home of his friend, the poet, William Hayley. He gave the painting to Hayley who said it successfully conveyed Romney's 'pensive vivacity and profusion of ideas.' In this unfinished self-portrait Romney's crossed arms and unflinching gaze reveal a watchful figure wrapped up in his own thoughts.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Alex Kidson, George Romney 1734-1802, 2002 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 30 May - 18 August 2002), p. 181
- Colville, Quinton; Williams, Kate, Emma Hamilton : seduction & celebrity, 2016, p. 64
- Gibson, Robin, Treasures from the National Portrait Gallery, 1996, p. 69
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 409
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 105
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 531
- Schama, Simon, The Face of Britain: The Nation Through its Portraits, 2015-09-15, p. 311
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 215
- Walker, Richard, Miniatures: 300 Years of the English Miniature, 1998, p. 15
Placesback to top
- Place made: United Kingdom: England, Sussex (William Hayley's home, Eartham House, Eartham, Chichester, Sussex)
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
Events of 1784back to top
Current affairsTheatre proprietor and postal reformer John Palmer runs the first mail coach in England, between Bristol and London. A three day journey is now completed in 16 hours.
Commutation Act reduces punitive duties on tea to combat smuggling.
Art and scienceAeronaut James Sadler makes the first hot air balloon flight in Britain, from Oxford to Woodeaton.
Chemist Henry Cavendish's paper Experiments on Air reveals the composition of water.
Writer Samuel Johnson dies.
Joshua Reynolds succeeds Allan Ramsay as Painter to the King.
InternationalThomas Jefferson's Land Ordinance passed by the United States' Continental Congress, coming into effect the following year. It allows for the sale of land in the largely unmapped west of the country.
Britain receives its first bales of cotton from the United States since before the War of American Independence.
William Pitt's India Act creates a Board of Control to oversee the affairs of the British East India Company and centralise power.
See this portrait
On display in Room 12 at the National Portrait Gallery