Acton Smee Ayrton ('Art')

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Acton Smee Ayrton ('Art')

published by Frederick Arnold, after Unknown artist
lithograph, published in the Hornet 31 May 1871
14 7/8 in. x 11 in. (379 mm x 279 mm) paper size
Purchased, 2017
Reference Collection
NPG D48238

Sitterback to top

  • Acton Smee Ayrton (1816-1886), Barrister and Liberal politician; MP for Tower Hamlets. Sitter in 7 portraits.

Artistsback to top

  • Frederick Arnold (active 1870s), Magazine publisher. Artist or producer associated with 111 portraits.
  • Unknown artist, Artist. Artist or producer associated with 6577 portraits.

Placesback to top

Events of 1871back to top

Current affairs

Gladstone's first ministry continues with its programme of reform, with an overhaul of the civil service which is opened to public examination. The University Test Acts allow non-members of the Church of England to hold posts at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The Trade Union Act granted full legal status to trade union organisations, although the Criminal Law Amendment Act banned picketing.
The first FA Cup competition is held.

Art and science

The Penny Farthing, the first efficient bicycle, is invented by British engineer, James Starley.
The artist James Whistler paints a portrait of his mother, calling the nearly monochromatic portrait Arrangement in Grey and Black. Although now one of Whistler's most recognisable paintings, it was nearly rejected by the Royal Academy at first.

International

France's shock defeat against Prussia radically alters Europe's status quo, leading to the deposition of Napoleon III and the creation of France's Third Republic, as well as Germany's unification and rise in military power and imperialist ambitions, as the Prussian King William I is pronounced Emperor of Germany. Further, Germany's annexing of the French regions Alsace and Lorraine provoked bitter land disputes which contributed to the outbreak of the First World War.

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