by William Hogarth
oil on canvas, 1740
50 in. x 40 1/4 in. (1270 mm x 1022 mm)
Purchased with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund, 1984
Artistback to top
- William Hogarth (1697-1764), Painter and engraver. Artist or producer associated with 128 portraits, Sitter associated with 19 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The painting was probably commissioned by the 2nd Earl of Macclesfield, a patron of Jones with whom Jones and his family lived in Oxfordshire. The 2nd Earl was a Governor of the Foundling Hospital in London, as was the artist Hogarth, which may be how the portrait came to be commissioned.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Audio Guide
- Smartify image discovery app
- Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 137
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 343
- 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. 61, 158 Read entry
Carved and gilt pine, mitred and keyed, the punching of the ground obscured by regilding. 4 inches wide.
This traditional running pattern of foliage and strapwork with shell-and-leaf sight edge and narrow sanded flat is of a type found on frames of the 1720s and in slightly different form as early as the 1690s. The corners, however, clearly date the frame to the 1740s. The shaped panels, rosettes and pierced foliage scrolls are typical; less usual is the way the scrolls end at the corners in paired outreaching leaves.
Hogarth's portrait of the mathematician, William Jones, was formerly part of the large series of eighteenth-century portraits at Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire, commissioned by the Earls of Macclesfield. There is nothing to suggest Hogarth's involvement in the framing of the picture and it may be that the 2nd Earl, both Hogarth's and Jones's patron, chose a rather traditional pattern in keeping with his other portraits. Jones's wife, Maria, was the daughter of the leading carver, gilder and framemaker, George Nix, an acquaintance of Macclesfield's, but there is no published evidence to support his involvement in the frame.
- Simon, Robin, The portrait in Britain and America : with a biographical dictionary of portrait painters, 1680-1914, 1987, p. 95 number 84
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.
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
Subjects and themes
Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!
Black History Month
Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.
A Picture of Health
Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.