The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

'London Full Dresses', November 1808

© National Portrait Gallery, London

 Like voting
is closed

Thanks for Liking

Please Like other favourites!
If they inspire you please support our work.

Buy a print Make a donation Close
  • Buy a print
  • Use this image
  • ShareShare this

'London Full Dresses', November 1808

published by John Bell, published in La Belle Assemblée or Bell’s Court and Fashionable Magazine
stipple engraving, published 1 November 1808
8 1/2 in. x 5 3/8 in. (217 mm x 135 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1930
Reference Collection
NPG D47516

Artistsback to top

This portraitback to top

La Belle Assemblée, number 37. Described in the magazine:
Full, or Evening Dress. A Spanish robe and drapery of bright amber crape, worn over a white satin slip, trimmed round with a vandyke of lace, or frosted silver; a full Spanish sleeve, and fronts of blended materials the same as the dress. White satin girdle, with rich Minerva clasp of frosted silver, gold, or brilliants. A drawn tucker of fine French net. Hair, a waved crop. Shoes white satin; and gloves French kid. - A very young woman may appear in this attractive costume without any other ornament, but to those who are of maturer years this dress cannot be deemed consistent, or complete, without necklace, earrings, and bracelets of pearl, diamonds, or some delicate substitute.
An Evening Dress. A white gossamer satin petticoat and vest, with a Turkish hanging sleeve. Robe of white, rose-coloured, or grass-green imperial net, with shirt to match; the robe trimmed entirely round with Chinese or roset edging in floss silk. The under-dress confined round the waist with a large cord and tassel of silk or silver, and fastened at the bosom with a brooch of diamonds or studded silver. A Roman hood formed of point lace or French net; lappets and front of rich vandyke in antique, finished with a full bow of ribband at the pole of the neck. The hair in irregular curls on the forehead. Shoes of white Spanish; and gloves of white kid.

Events of 1808back to top

Current affairs

The 'Mary Anne Clarke affair' erupts in which Clarke, mistress of Frederick, Duke of York, was said to have used her influence with him to run a military promotions racket. Championed by radical government opponents, it ends in the Duke's resignation as Commander-in-Chief of the army.

Art and science

Sculptor John Flaxman begins Nelson memorial for St Paul's.
Richard Trevithick demonstrates model railway travelling at 12 mph.


After taking Portugal, Napoleon invades Spain, deposes the Spanish Bourbon monarchy and appoints his brother Joseph as the new King. The
Peninsular War then begins under Sir John Moore and Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, aiming to protect Portugal and exploit Iberian hatred of French tyranny.

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. You can buy a print of most illustrated portraits. Select the portrait of interest to you, then look out for a Buy a Print button. Prices start at £6 for unframed prints, £25 for framed prints. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.


Make a donation

Support our Make History appeal and help us transform the Gallery.

Help us make history

Online shop

A unique range of books, accessories and gifts. Every purchase supports the Gallery’s work.

Shop now

Bring a familiar face home

Refresh your home gallery with a huge selection of custom art prints .

Buy a print