by George Vertue, after Thomas Gibson
line engraving, 1721 (1712)
12 3/4 in. x 8 3/4 in. (323 mm x 221 mm) plate size; 13 1/4 in. x 9 1/8 in. (338 mm x 233 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1864
Artistsback to top
This portraitback to top
Events of 1721back to top
Current affairsRobert Walpole becomes the first British Prime Minister and holds the post for an unrivalled tenure of twenty-one years.
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer John Aislabie is imprisoned in the Tower of London and found guilty of corruption for his part in the collapse of the South Sea Company.
Art and scienceArtist William Hogarth produces his first satirical engraving The South Sea Scheme in response to the South Sea Bubble of the previous year.
Writer and diplomat's wife, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu introduces the smallpox inoculation to Britain. The Princess of Wales is persuaded to test the treatment and the procedure becomes fashionable.
InternationalJohann Sebastian Bach writes the six Brandenburg Concertos for his employer at the court of Köthen.
Montesquieu completes his best-selling Lettres Persanes (Persian Letters); a critical view of contemporary western politics, religion and society.
Treaty of Nystad in which Sweden cedes Estonia to Russia with most of Latvia. Russia becomes the dominant regional power and Peter the Great has himself proclaimed 'Emperor of all Russia'.
Do, draw and make!
Do, draw and make!
From building dens to food faces – enjoy our Playful Portraits activities and find out about some brilliant people!
Activities for children and families inspired by three healthcare heroes from our Collection.
Downloadable and web based resources to support learning at home linked to art, history, citizenship and literacy.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.