Sir William Fawcett
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Sir William Fawcett
by Sir Joshua Reynolds
oil on canvas, 1784
50 3/8 in. x 40 3/4 in. (1280 mm x 1035 mm)
Artistback to top
- Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), Painter and first President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 1413 portraits, Sitter associated with 38 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait shows Fawcett in his lieutenant-general's uniform - red frock coat with blue lapels, silver trim and silver epaulettes. The heavy sky helps to highlight these colours. The accuracy of the costume was important to Fawcett. Although Reynolds displayed the portrait at the Royal Academy exhibition of 1785, Fawcett had the ribbon and the star of the Order of the Bath added after 1786 when he was awarded the honour.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, 2004, p. 157
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 215
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.
- Portrait of the Day: Joshua Reynolds
24 November, 12:30