by Joseph Wilton
marble bust, circa 1762
26 in. (660 mm) high
Purchased with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and the Portrait Fund, 2012
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- Thomas Hollis (1720-1774), Libertarian, writer, bibliophile and patron of the arts. Sitter in 3 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Joseph Wilton (1722-1803), Sculptor. Artist associated with 7 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Wilton's depiction of his friend Hollis naked and bare-headed shows the influence of Imperial Roman sculpture. The 'liberty' cap and 'Brutus' daggers emblems on the plinth were repeatedly used by Hollis to represent resistance to tyranny.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 108
Events of 1762back to top
Current affairsBirth of George, Prince of Wales (later George IV) on 12 August.
Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle resigns as Prime Minister over foreign policy and is succeeded by the Tory John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute. Many of Newcastle's followers are dismissed over the following months in what becomes popularly known as the 'Massacre of the Pelhamite Innocents'.
'Cock Lane ghost' appears in Smithfield, London.
Art and scienceJames MacPherson publishes Fingal, an Ancient Epic Poem, said to be the work of the third century Scottish bard Ossian, initiating the greatest literary hoax of the century.
Sign-Painters Exhibition is organised in London by Bonnell Thornton to ridicule recently established public art exhibitions.
Artist William Hogarth publishes The Times Plate 1; an anti-war satire.
InternationalPhilosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau publishes his major works The Social Contract and Emile; influential treatises on society and education. Peter III of Russia is reputedly assassinated as a result of a conspiracy led by his wife Catherine, who succeeds him to the throne as Catherine II (later the Great).
Seven Years' War: The British commander John Manners Marquess of Granby distinguishes himself at the Battle of Manila.
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On display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery
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Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer