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Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

4 of 374 portraits of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, by Thomas Heaphy, 1813 - NPG 4176 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

by Thomas Heaphy
watercolour, 1813
22 1/2 in. x 16 in. (572 mm x 406 mm)
Given by Edward Peter Jones, 1960
Primary Collection
NPG 4176


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  • Thomas Heaphy (1775-1835). Artist associated with 47 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.

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Wellington sat for Thomas Heaphy while the artist was stationed with his battalion during the Peninsular War. This watercolour is one of a series Heaphy later developed from his field sketches. Every inch the hero, Wellington cuts a dashing figure against a barren landscape, which alludes to the ruined battlefields he left in his victorious wake. He stands proudly by a shattered tree-trunk beneath a dramatic stormy sky as the wind whips at his coat tails. One hand rests on his elegant bowed sword and the other holds a telescope as he gazes imperially into the distance. Several variations of this portrait were made and the head was developed into a miniature.

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