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Regency Portraits Catalogue

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852), Field Marshal and Prime Minister

Field Marshal 1813; created Duke of Wellington 1814; victor of Waterloo 1815; Prime Minister 1828-30 and 1834.

'Sir Arthur is handsome, very brown, quite bald and a hooked nose' (Maria Edgeworth, 1806).

'I was much struck with his countenance and his quick glancing eye, prominent nose and pressed lip, and saw, very distinctly marked, the steady presence of mind and imperturbable decision of character, so essential in a leader' (Lieutenant Moyle Sherer in the Peninsula).

'I never saw a man's looks so altered. He is a perfect shadow and as old-looking as the ark' (Creevey, 1823).

'His very size had hitherto deceived me: he is a shortish, slightish figure, about five feet eight; of good breadth however, and all muscle or bone; - his legs I think must be the short part of him, for certainly on horseback at least, I have always taken him to be tall' (Carlyle, 1850).

Referencesback to top

Archer 1979
Mildred Archer, India and British Portraiture 1770-1825, 1979, p 317.

Connely 1952
Willard Connely, Count D'Orsay, The Dandy of Dandies, 1952, chapter XXIII.

Cotton 1927, 1928
Sir Evan Cotton, letters to NPG 13 December 1927 and 23 January 1928 (in NPG archive).

Cotton 1928
Sir Evan Cotton, 'Robert Home in India' in Bengal Past and Present, XXXV, 1928.

Foster 1924
William Foster, India Office Catalogue, 1924, no.4, no.41.

Glover 1979
Michael Glover, A Gentleman Volunteer: Letters of George Henwell from the Peninsula War, 1979.

Kauffmann 1982
C. M. Kauffmann, Catalogue of Paintings in the Wellington Museum, 1982.

Longford 1969-72
Elizabeth Longford, Wellington, 2 vols., 1969-72.

Maxwell 1900
Sir Herbert Maxwell, Life of Wellington, 2 vols., 1900.

NPG Annual Report, 1960-1, p 4.

Percival 1969
Victor Percival, The Duke of Wellington: a Pictorial Survey of his Life, 1969.

Scott 1973
Amoret and Christopher Scott, Wellington, Lifelines 26, 1973.

Spencer (ed.) 1925
Memoirs of William Hickey, 4 vols., ed. Alfred Spencer, 1925.

‘The Wellingtons at Stratfield Saye’, Apollo, CII, no.161, July 1975.

Wellesley 1901
Evelyn Wellesley, Catalogue of Pictures and Sculpture in Apsley House, 2 vols, 1901.

Wellesley and Steegman 1935
Wellesley and Steegman, Iconography of the 1st Duke of Wellington, 1935.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.