by John Kay
4 3/4 in. x 3 1/8 in. (122 mm x 80 mm) plate size; 10 1/4 in. x 7 7/8 in. (261 mm x 200 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
Sitterback to top
- Francis Grose (1731-1791), Antiquary and draughtsman. Sitter in 7 portraits, Artist of 1 portrait.
Artistback to top
- John Kay (1742-1826), Miniature painter and caricaturist. Artist associated with 288 portraits, Sitter in 4 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Kay's print was made while Grose was collecting information for The Antiquities of Scotland (1789-91). It shows him inspecting an inscription dated 1216 on an ancient ruin - though Kay was evidently confused by the numbers, reversed in the process of printing from plate to paper.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- John Kay: Portraits of curious characters (15 December 2007 - 13 July 2008)
Events of 1789back to top
Current affairsGeorge III recovers from the previous year's illness. The 'Regency Crisis' and attendant political wrangling between the Tory Prime Minister William Pitt and the pro-Whig Prince of Wales end. Dismissed as a 'bilious attack', George's sickness was in fact the first sign of the mental health problems which led to the Prince of Wales's appointment as Regent in 1811.
Art and scienceJohn Boydell's ambitious new Shakespeare Gallery opens in Pall Mall, displaying works by Britain's leading artists and attempting to combine urban entertainment with the promotion of British history painting.
Philosopher Jeremy Bentham publishes An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, outlining his 'greatest happiness principle'.
InternationalGeorge Washington is elected first President of the United States.
The French Revolution begins. The storming of the Bastille on the 14 July marks the overthrow of the absolute monarchy in France. The uprising followed the establishment of a governing National Assembly of the people's representatives.
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Framed & unframed prints