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John Wilkes was a vociferous advocate of Parliamentary reform. He was expelled from the House of Commons and imprisoned, and as a result became a popular defender of freedom against tyranny of ministers and, by association, the Monarchy. Wilkes was also a major figure amongst the artistic community. He was a campaigner for the establishment of the National Gallery, and as treasurer to the Foundling Hospital he would have known major artists associated with it such as Hogarth, Highmore and Hayman.
oil on canvas
H 127 x W 101.6 cm