William Godwin's Diary


This possibly refers to the exhibition of the large-scale history painting (oil on canvas; 180.3 x 271.8 cm), Sortie of Gibraltar by John Trumbull (1756–1843) at Ansell’s Auction Room, Spring Gardens, Entrance of the Park. The picture represents the destruction of the Spanish lines and batteries before Gibraltar, depicting the successful sortie made by the Garrison in November, 1781. Subscriptions were received on location for a souvenir print engraved from the picture by Mr Sharp. The painting is currently housed in the collection of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

See also The Times 6 May 1789 and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Note: Godwin’s use of ‘Exhibitions’ in the plural indicates that he may have visited more than one exhibition on this date. In addition to the above, there was also a Royal Academy exhibition in Spring, 1789 (a review appeared on the 12th May) featuring works by British artists.

See The Times, 12 May 1789.