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Edward Gibbon circa 1780


Artist: Henry Bone

Edward Gibbon wearing a fur trimmed red coat and matching waistcoat
Enamel, in original turned wood frame, inscribed on the reverse Gibbon/ the Statesman/ enamel./ from the original/ painted by/ Sir Jos. Reynolds/ who lent it to the artist/ Bone
Oval, 4 inches high

This maybe the enamel listed in National Portrait Gallery Mid Georgian Portraits by Ingamells, p.205 as being a version after the Reynolds attributed to Henry Bone formerly with Hallam Murray 1896.
Gibbon (1737-1794) the Historian, wrote the History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1776-88, which is known for the quality and irony of its prose, its use of primary sources, and its open criticism of organised religion. Gibbon's work has been criticised for its scathing view of Christianity as laid down in chapters XV and XVI, a situation which resulted in the banning of the book in several countries. The subject of Gibbon's writing as well as his ideas and style have influenced other writers. Besides his influence on Churchill, Gibbon was also a model for Isaac Asimov in his writing of The Foundation Trilogy, which he said involved 'a little bit of cribbin' from the works of Edward Gibbon'
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