5 of 25 portraits on display in Room 14 at the National Portrait Gallery
by Joseph Wilton
plaster cast of bust, circa 1760
29 3/4 in. (756 mm) high
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- James Wolfe (1727-1759), General; conqueror of Quebec. Sitter associated with 26 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Joseph Wilton (1722-1803), Sculptor. Artist associated with 7 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.
This portraitback to top
In designing this posthumous bust, the sculptor Joseph Wilton allegedly had Wolfe's coffin opened so he could sketch Wolfe's face, but found it 'much too much distorted'. Instead, he created an idealised portrait of a hero, stated to be based on a servant of Lord Gower's who was very like Wolfe, wearing the armour of an ancient Roman soldier. The wolf motifs on the shoulders are a pun on the General's name. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).
Linked publicationsback to top
- Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 317
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 673