'The lord of the vineyard'
1 portrait of William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland
'The lord of the vineyard'
by James Gillray, published by William Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 3 April 1783
13 3/4 in. x 9 7/8 in. (351 mm x 250 mm) paper size
Sittersback to top
- Charles James Fox (1749-1806), Whig statesman. Sitter associated with 305 portraits.
- Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford (1732-1792), Prime Minister. Sitter associated with 64 portraits.
- William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, 3rd Duke of Portland (1738-1809), Prime Minister. Sitter associated with 32 portraits.
Artistsback to top
This portraitback to top
This print satirises the newly created coalition government of Charles James Fox and Frederick North who were previously sworn political enemies. The triangular composition shows at its pinnacle the Duke of Portland, the nominal premier of the coalition ministry, handing down the ripe fruits of office to his two hungry ministers - Fox became Foreign Secretary, North, Home Secretary. The uneasy alliance between Fox and North was mistrusted by both men's supporters who felt they had been used for each politician's own selfish purposes. It was also despised by George III who seized on Fox's East India Bill of December 1783 to bring about its collapse. Gillray's first caricatures depict Charles James Fox literally with a fox's head, before developing the instantly recognisable figure of later prints. He frequently employed the motif of the fox and grapes from Aesop's fables to illustrate Fox's grasping pursuit of governmental office.
Events of 1783back to top
Current affairsWilliam Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne resigns as Prime Minister over the proposed peace terms with the United States. Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford briefly forms a government with Charles James Fox in April but is succeeded by a government under William Pitt the Younger who, at the age of 24 becomes the youngest British Prime Minister ever to take office.
The highwayman John Austin is the last person to be publicly executed at Tyburn.
Art and sciencePhysician and natural philosopher Erasmus Darwin begins publication of A System of Vegetables, a translation from Latin of the work of Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus in which he coins many common English names of plants.
InternationalDefeat of Charles James Fox's India Bill in the House of Lords which aimed to assist ailing British East India Company.
American War of Independence: Treaty of Paris is signed by Britain, France, Spain and the United States, under which the British government recognises US independence. Britain begins to evacuate loyalists and the last British troops leave New York City three months later.
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