FB662: Henry Bunbury Esq.
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© The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath
|Title||Henry Bunbury Esq.|
|Object type||In category: Pictures » Print » Engraving|
|Date||24- 4- 1789|
By Lawrence, Thomas (English painter, 1769-1830) (known) - Artist(s)
Ryder, Thomas (British printmaker, 1746-1810) (known) - Engraver(s)
|Place of origin||Europe » Northern Europe » British Isles » Great Britain » England » London|
32.1 cm height image size
28.5 cm width image size
40.8 cm height paper
31.2 cm width paper
|Materials & techniques||
Pictures: Medium » Ink
Pictures: Support » Paper
Stipple engraving in oval. Three-quarter length portrait of a gentleman seated in an open colonnade with wooded slopes behind. Wearing own hair dressed loosely, high-collared coat, buttoned waistcoat with large collar, pale breeches. Leaning on a small table and holding a long strip of paper marked "LONG MINUET" on which he is drawing dancing figures.
|Marks and inscriptions||
Henry William Bunbury (b.1750 in Suffolk, d.1811 in Keswick) was an amateur caricaturist. He was educated at Westminster and St Catherine's in Cambridge. He published two strip cartoons in 1781 "A Long Minuet as danced in Bath" and "The Propagation of a lie." He published "An Academy for Grown Horsemen" in 1781 under the name of Geoffrey Gambado.
Thomas Lawrence was in Bath between 1780 and 1789, between the ages of about 11 and 17. Here he made a name for himself with an extraordinary series of oval portraits painted in pastel from life, including several portraits of local and visiting celebrities.
When Bunbury sat to Lawrence around 1787, shortly before Lawrence left Bath for a triumphant career in London, he chose to be drawn with one of his most celebrated caricatures, A Long Minuet as Danced at Bath which was published in 1787. Lawrence's original pastel is in the National Portrait Gallery, NPG 4696.
Exhibit label for The Long Minuet written in 2002 for Pickpocketing the Rich exhibition:
after Henry William Bunbury (1750-1811)
A LONG MINUET AS DANCED AT BATH, 1787
Stipple engraving, Private Collection
The absurdity of visitors to Bath could easily be observed at public assemblies, whether by a caricaturist like Bunbury, a novelist like Jane Austen, or a satirist like Christopher Anstey, whose Election Ball of 1776 is a similar account of the absurdities of Bath's dancers trying to look elegant and fashionable:
"Nothing, I think, can more please and engage
Than a Contrast of Stature, Complexion and Age."
This remarkable engraving, seven feet long and printed on four sheets of paper joined together, began a fashion for similarly shaped caricatures. The long format originated in topographical views.
A Talent to Amuse: The Eighteenth Century Caricaturist Henry William Bunbury 1750-1811, Exhibition catalogue, Norwich Castle Museum, 1998
Pickpocketing the Rich: Portrait Painting in Bath 1720-1800, exhibition catalogue, The Holburne Museum of Art, 2002, pp. 89-90
John Riely, Henry William Bunbury 1750-1811, Exhibition Catalogue, Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, 1983
Art and Culture in Georgian Bath 1714-1830
Art and Culture in Georgian Bath 1714-1830 » Art » The Print Market
Art and Culture in Georgian Bath 1714-1830 » Art » After Gainsborough
Art and Culture in Georgian Bath 1714-1830 » Leisure » Assemblies, Dancing and Gambling
with the object
Europe » Northern Europe » British Isles » Great Britain » England » Bath
|Method of acquisition||Bequest|
|Provenance||Collection of Frank Brown, by whom bequeathed to the Museum|
Title of exhibition: Henry William Bunbury 1750-1811
Title of exhibition: A Talent to Amuse: The Eighteenth Century Caricaturist Henry William Bunbury 1750-1811