3 of 30 portraits of John Wesley
after George Romney
oil on canvas, based on a work of circa 1789
29 1/2 in. x 24 3/4 in. (749 mm x 629 mm)
Bequeathed by Mary Stringer Rowe, 1929
Artistback to top
- George Romney (1734-1802), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 160 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.
This portraitback to top
A good early copy of the portrait by George Romney for which Wesley sat on 29 December 1788 and three times in January 1789, the portrait being destined for his friend and admirer Mrs Tighe. He noted in his journal on 5 January 1789: 'I once more sat for my picture. Mr Romney is a painter indeed. He struck off an exact likeness at once, and did more in an hour than Sir Joshua [Reynolds] did in ten.' 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. 299
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 653
Events of 1789back to top
Current affairsGeorge III recovers from the previous year's illness. The 'Regency Crisis' and attendant political wrangling between the Tory Prime Minister William Pitt and the pro-Whig Prince of Wales end. Dismissed as a 'bilious attack', George's sickness was in fact the first sign of the mental health problems which led to the Prince of Wales's appointment as Regent in 1811.
Art and scienceJohn Boydell's ambitious new Shakespeare Gallery opens in Pall Mall, displaying works by Britain's leading artists and attempting to combine urban entertainment with the promotion of British history painting.
Philosopher Jeremy Bentham publishes An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, outlining his 'greatest happiness principle'.
InternationalGeorge Washington is elected first President of the United States.
The French Revolution begins. The storming of the Bastille on the 14 July marks the overthrow of the absolute monarchy in France. The uprising followed the establishment of a governing National Assembly of the people's representatives.