'The lawyer; the client'

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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'The lawyer; the client'

by John Kay
etching, 1790
3 3/8 in. x 2 5/8 in. (85 mm x 67 mm) plate size; 4 1/8 in. x 3 3/8 in. (106 mm x 87 mm) paper size
Reference Collection
NPG D18654

Artistback to top

  • John Kay (1742-1826), Miniature painter and caricaturist. Artist or producer associated with 288 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The lawyer is shown grinning, his nose swollen and blotched with drink. When the print is reversed, we see his client looking greatly distressed. Such prints could be satires of famous people, such as the Duc d'Aiguillon who, when inverted, became a fish-wife.

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Events of 1790back to top

Current affairs

Attempts to modify the Test and Corporation Acts are defeated, despite campaigning by dissenters such as the prominent Unitarian preacher and pamphleteer, Richard Price. The Acts prevented those outside the established church from holding government or military office.

Art and science

Joseph Mallord William Turner exhibits his first painting at the Royal Academy; a watercolour of The Archbishop's Palace, Lambeth.
The Firth to Clyde and Oxford to Birmingham canals are begun.

International

Edmund Burke publishes Reflections on the Revolution in France. A landmark work of opposition to the Revolution which offered a critique of the radical philosophy behind events in France; the Reflections have been read as an articulation of the foundations of modern British conservatism. George Vancouver explores the north west coast of America.

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