chapter  3
14 Pages

Great Newport Street 1764–73

WithDavid A. Cross

In Great Newport Street, Long Acre, at the sign of the Golden Head, stood the house of John Augustus Richter the engraver and scagliolist. Late in 1767, after his second return visit to Kendal, Romney took lodgings, where the golden sign would advertise his presence among other skilled craftsmen. In 1769 Romney had made a successful application to attend the Society’s drawing academy in Maiden Lane, an implicitly humble gesture which contrasted with his new standing. By 1770 he was on the committee whose members took it in turns to pose the models and to keep order among unruly students. As Romney’s reputation grew, his sitters came increasingly from the higher social strata. The best picture before his trip to Italy was The Warren Family, exhibited in 1769. Sir George Warren was the wealthy and aristocratic MP for Lancaster.