kit-cat








noun

  1. any of a series of half-length portraits of members of the Kit-Cat Club that were painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller between 1702 and 1717, measure almost uniformly 28 × 36 inches (71 × 91 cm), characteristically portray the head, upper torso, and hands, and are now in the National Gallery, London.

club founded by Whig politicians in London, 1703; so called from Christopher (“Kit”) Catling, keeper of the tavern on Shire Lane, near Temple Bar, in which the club first met. Meaning “a size of portrait less than half length” (1754), supposedly is because the dining room in which portraits of club members hung was too low for half-length portraits.

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