About this artwork

Although spending time in both the regular army and militia, Francis Grose is best known as an antiquarian, compiling a number of volumes on the subject. He met the poet Robert Burns in 1789, who suggested that Grose include Allloway Kirk in his Scottish Antiquities. Grose agreed, on the condition that Burns provide a witchcraft story to go with the drawing. This story later developed into the famous Scots poem, Tam O’Shanter.

Henry Bryan Hall

Nathaniel Dance

Henry Bryan Hall

Henry Bryan Hall was born in London in 1808, training and as an engraver under Benjamin Smith. After his apprenticeship he worked for Henry Thomas Ryall, assisting in the engraving of portraits for Ryalls engraving of the coronation of Queen Victoria. He immigrated to the United States in 1850, settling in New York and establishing a successful firm which engraved and published portraits of celebrities from American colonial and revolutionary history.

Nathaniel Dance

Born in London, Dance was an artist and later in life, a politician. Although he sought to develop as a history painter, opportunities in eighteenth-century Britain were limited. Consequently it was as a portraitist that he was most successful. He spent a great deal of time in Italy, developing a more inventive approach to drawing and painting. Whilst in Rome in the 1760s he had a love affair with fellow painter, Angelica Kauffman, which ended on their return to Britain in 1764. On his arrival in London, Dance received his most prestigious commission - a portrait of Edward, Duke of York, on behalf of King George III. Dance went on to be a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1773 and was elected as an M.P. for East Grinstead in 1790.