1 of 20 portraits on display in Room 27 at the National Portrait Gallery
by John Lucas
oil on canvas
30 in. x 23 5/8 in. (763 mm x 601 mm)
Bequeathed by Dorothy Brown, 1985
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Sitterback to top
- Robert Stephenson (1803-1859), Civil engineer; son of George Stephenson. Sitter in 12 portraits.
Artistback to top
- John Lucas (1807-1874), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 32 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
Robert Stephenson, a civil engineer, designed and built the famous locomotive 'Rocket' for his father George Stephenson's Liverpool and Manchester railway. In this portrait by John Lucas his hand rests upon a drawing of one of his most advanced locomotives, many of which were in use throughout Europe and the United States. By the time the portrait was painted, in addition to his achievements as a mechanical engineer, Stephenson had also won fame and fortune as a railway builder. His first great project was the London to Birmingham railway which opened in 1838 after five years' work. He also built the bridge over the Menai Strait, a massive construction, in which the trains were to pass through vast wrought iron tubes suspended between brick towers.
Linked publicationsback to top
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1825back to top
Current affairsStrikes, contract breaking and worker intimidation prompt the passing of a new Anti-Trade Union Combination Act to the dismay of economist John McCulloch, MP Joseph Hume and radical Francis Place who had worked for the repeal of the previous year.
Catholic Relief Bill is rejected by the House of Lords.
Art and scienceConstruction of Thames Tunnel begins under the direction of Marc Isambard Brunel.
Stockton to Darlington Railway, the world's first passenger system, opens.
William Hazlitt publishes The Spirit of the Age; twenty-five pen-portraits of his contemporaries in the world of literature, philosophy and politics.
InternationalBeethoven's Ninth Symphony premieres in London.
John Quincy Adams is elected President of the United States.