by Mason Chamberlin
oil on copper, 1754 or before
9 3/4 in. x 7 3/4 in. (249 mm x 197 mm)
Given by Louis S. Auchincloss through the American Friends of the National Portrait Gallery, 1998
Artistback to top
- Mason Chamberlin (1722-1787), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 10 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Painted for Richardson's friend, Arthur Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons. The portrait was described as a 'speaking likeness' by Thomas Edwards, another friend and shows Richardson in a characteristic pose, writing 'upon a little board . . . held in his hand'. In the background is a bust of Milton whose works Richardson much admired.
Linked publicationsback to top
Events of 1754back to top
Current affairsDeath of the Prime Minister Henry Pelham. He is succeeded by his brother Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle.
General election increases the Whig party's majority
Art and scienceScottish chemist Joseph Black identifies carbon dioxide.
Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (Society of Arts) is established in London.
Designer and cabinet-maker Thomas Chippendale publishes his first catalogue of furniture.
Philosopher David Hume's expansive and best-selling six-volume History of Great Britain begins publication.
InternationalAlbany Congress: the British colonies negotiate with the native-American Iroquois in the face of the French threat in the Ohio valley. Benjamin Franklin proposes that the colonies should unite to form a colonial government. The pro-union woodcut he publishes of a snake cut into eight pieces, entitled 'Join or Die', becomes America's first political cartoon.
George Washington kills ten French troops at Fort Duquesne.