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James Watt

9 of 17 portraits of James Watt

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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James Watt

by Samuel William Reynolds, after Carl Fredrik von Breda
mezzotint, published 1796
Reference Collection
NPG D4696

Sitterback to top

  • James Watt (1736-1819), Engineer. Sitter in 17 portraits.

Artistsback to top

  • Carl Fredrik von Breda (1759-1818), Artist. Artist or producer associated with 12 portraits.
  • Samuel William Reynolds (1773-1835), Mezzotint engraver and painter. Artist or producer associated with 637 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.

Subject/Themeback to top

Events of 1796back to top

Current affairs

Birth of Princess Charlotte, only child of George, Prince of Wales and Princess Caroline whose marriage soon quickly and publicly degenerates.

Art and science

Fanny Burney publishes Camilla, one of several influential novels exploring social misunderstanding and the fashionable mode of sensibility.
Architect William Chambers completes the building of Somerset House.
Collector William Beckford, the richest man in England, begins construction of his gothic fantasy Fonthill Abbey.

International

Napoleon Bonaparte assumes command of the French armies in Italy and defeats the Austrians at Millesimo and the Piedmontese at Mondovi.
Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, arrives in India as a colonel.
John Adams is elected President of the United States, defeating Thomas Jefferson by three votes.

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