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Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Lord Castlereagh)

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Lord Castlereagh)

by Sir Thomas Lawrence
oil on canvas, 1809-1810
29 1/4 in. x 24 1/4 in. (743 mm x 616 mm)
Purchased, 1892
Primary Collection
NPG 891

Images

This compo version of a carved pattern popula…

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), Portrait painter, collector and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 689 portraits, Sitter in 25 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Associated with repression in Ireland and the unpopular measures of Lord Liverpool's ministry, Castlereagh was despised for the brutal way in which the rebels were suppressed - hung from trees and shot without any kind of hearing - resulting in at least 20,000 casualties. Hazlitt observed that Lawrence's portrait showed him 'with the prim smirking aspect of a haberdasher'.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D37412: Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry (Lord Castlereagh) (source portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

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  • Cox, Paul, Wellington: Triumphs, Politics and Passions, 2015 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12 March - 7 June 2015), p. 97 Read entry

    Arthur Wellesley, by now Duke of Wellington, returned to England at the end of 1818, three years after Waterloo. He and Lord Castlereagh, the Foreign Secretary, had represented Britain at the second peace congress at Aix-La-Chapelle (present-day Aachen) in October and November. The congress terminated the allied occupation of France, of which Wellington had been commander-in-chief, and redefined the post-war relationships of the European powers.

  • Holmes, Richard; Crane, David; Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantics and Revolutionaries: Regency portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, 2002, p. 97
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 387
  • Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 167 Read entry

    Gilt compo on pine, mitred and keyed, the ornament covered in bronze powder except in the hollow, the sight slip and back edge water gilt as probably are the other flat surfaces and possibly the gadroons. 5 1⁄ 2 inches wide.

    This compo version of a carved pattern popular in France in the late eighteenth century was widely used by Lawrence in the 1800s.

  • Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 320

Events of 1809back to top

Current affairs

Duke of Portland resigns as Prime Minister to be succeeded by Spencer Perceval.
Motion for parliamentary reform is defeated in the House of Commons.
Notorious duel between George Canning and Viscount Castlereagh over strategic failures against Napoleon.

Art and science

Maria Edgeworth publishes Tales of Fashionable Life, a popular and perceptive series of stories exploring Anglo-Irish society after the Union.
Robert Smirke completes the New Covent Garden Theatre after fire. 'Old Price' theatre riots quickly break out against rising cost of admission.
Pall Mall in London is lit by gas for the first time.

International

British army lands in Lisbon and defeats the French at Talavera. Arthur Wellesley is created Viscount Wellington as a result of this victory.
Walcheren expedition led by General Chatham, which aimed to take Antwerp, fails amidst allegations of military corruption and carnage.
James Madison is elected President of the United States.

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