John Horne Tooke

Richard Brompton, ca.1734 - 1783

John Horne Tooke

Richard Brompton ca.1734 - 1783


Three-quarter length portrait of politician and philologist, John Horne Tooke (1736-1812). The subject wears a grey jacket, waistcoat and breeches. He is seated facing the viewer, with his body turned to the right. Tooke holds the winged helmet of Mercury in both hands, and his left arm rests against a classical bust. To his right, a wand (Caduceus) in visible in the bottom right corner, and he sits against a dark indistinct background.

Display Label

Grand Tour and Grand Style The Influence of Travel Improvements in European travel during the 1700s had a wide-ranging impact on British culture. A particularly significant influence was the Grand Tour, which became almost obligatory for young gentlemen. Grand Tourists were led across Europe by tutors to study art, history and politics for two or three years. The Grand Tour focused on Italy, particularly Rome, and often incorporated new archaeological sites such as those at Herculaneum and Pompei, near Naples. Ancient antiquities were heavily trafficked across Europe and continental works of art flooded into Britain. A period of especially active collecting took place between the end of the Seven Years War in 1763 and the rise of Napoleon in the 1790s. As more artists and designers also visited the continent their work became increasingly informed by travel. The serious themes of classical antiquity and European art led to a new departure in painting called the Grand Style. This championed classical, historical or literary subjects, and inspired radical changes in portraiture and landscape. Widespread interest in Greek and Roman remains also fostered fresh interpretations of ancient designs by pioneers of decorative art such as Josiah Wedgwood.

Object Name

John Horne Tooke

Creators Name

Richard Brompton

Date Created



Canvas: 126.5cm x 102.7cm
Frame (approx): 160cm x 140cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint

On Display

[G18] Manchester Art Gallery - Gallery 18
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© Manchester Art Gallery

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