'Pandora opening her box'
19 of 47 portraits of George Canning
'Pandora opening her box'
by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching and aquatint, published 22 February 1809
14 1/8 in. x 10 1/8 in. (358 mm x 258 mm) plate size; 14 3/4 in. x 10 3/4 in. (376 mm x 272 mm) paper size
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Artistsback to top
Sittersback to top
- Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Bt (1770-1844), Parliamentary reformer. Sitter associated with 119 portraits.
- George Canning (1770-1827), Prime Minister. Sitter in 47 portraits.
- Mary Anne Clarke (née Thompson) (1776-1852), Mistress of the Duke of York. Sitter in 8 portraits.
- Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (1780-1863), Whig politician; Home Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord President of the Council. Sitter associated with 76 portraits.
- Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Lord Castlereagh) (1769-1822), Statesman. Sitter associated with 45 portraits.
- Spencer Perceval (1762-1812), Prime Minister. Sitter in 19 portraits.
- Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816), Dramatist and parliamentary orator. Sitter associated with 167 portraits.
- Samuel Whitbread (1764-1815), Politician and brewer; son of brewer Samuel Whitbread. Sitter associated with 21 portraits.
- William Wilberforce (1759-1833), Philanthropist and reformer. Sitter associated with 32 portraits.
- Hon. William Windham (1750-1810), Politician; Secretary at War. Sitter associated with 52 portraits.
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1809back to top
Current affairsDuke of Portland resigns as Prime Minister to be succeeded by Spencer Perceval.
Motion for parliamentary reform is defeated in the House of Commons.
Notorious duel between George Canning and Viscount Castlereagh over strategic failures against Napoleon.
Art and scienceMaria Edgeworth publishes Tales of Fashionable Life, a popular and perceptive series of stories exploring Anglo-Irish society after the Union.
Robert Smirke completes the New Covent Garden Theatre after fire. 'Old Price' theatre riots quickly break out against rising cost of admission.
Pall Mall in London is lit by gas for the first time.
InternationalBritish army lands in Lisbon and defeats the French at Talavera. Arthur Wellesley is created Viscount Wellington as a result of this victory.
Walcheren expedition led by General Chatham, which aimed to take Antwerp, fails amidst allegations of military corruption and carnage.
James Madison is elected President of the United States.
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