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Arthur Onslow (1691–1768), Speaker

Photo credit: Parliamentary Art Collection

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Arthur Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons. It has been suggested that the characterisation of Onslow in this portrait indicates an intimacy between the artist and the sitter. The face has been executed with the aplomb which is expected of so competent an artist, but other elements – particularly Onslow's right hand – are uncharacteristically clumsy. Highmore trained as a lawyer before being apprenticed to the studio of Sir Godfrey Kneller. A man of great learning, Highmore surrounded himself with members of the literati. Along with Francis Hayman and Gainsborough, he was at the forefront of the English Rococo movement.




oil on canvas


H 127 x W 101.6 cm

Accession number

WOA 2739

Work type



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Parliamentary Art Collection

The Curator's Office, Department of Information Services, House of Commons, 1 Canon Row, Greater London SW1A 0AA England

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