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Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

4 of 437 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.

This portraitback to top

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.

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1813back to top

Current affairs

Machine breaking Luddite Riots end with seventeen executions in York. Radical John Cartwright's subsequent tour of the manufacturing districts has some success in quelling Luddite discontent with the foundation of the Hampden reform club network across the country. East India Company is deprived of monopoly over trade with India.

Art and science

Millenarian prophet Joanna Southcott, made famous by her visions of the second coming of Christ, announces herself 'with child' by the Holy Ghost. Jane Austen publishes Pride and Prejudice.

International

Victorious Battle of St Pierre near Bayonne led by General Rowland Hill. Battle of Leipzig ends in defeat for Napoleon. Wellington's victory at Vittoria leads to British invasion of Southern France. Americans capture and burn Toronto, defeat British in Battle of Lake Erie and recapture Detroit.

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