Gwyllym Lloyd Wardle
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Gwyllym Lloyd Wardle
by Arthur William Devis
oil on canvas, 1809
18 1/4 in. x 14 1/4 in. (464 mm x 362 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Gwyllym Lloyd Wardle (circa 1761-1833), Soldier and politician. Sitter in 9 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Arthur William Devis (1762-1822), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 38 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
This portrait was painted at the climax of Wardle's career when, as MP for Okehampton, he exposed the scandals arising from the association of the Duke of York with Mary Anne Clarke, in particular the sale of army commissions. The Duke was compelled to resign as Commander-in-Chief and, in April 1809, Wardle was awarded the freedom of the City of London. The portrait shows him with his right hand resting on some documents and although this is a conventional device the papers assume greater significance in the light of the scandal. The idyllic landscape in the distance is likely to represent Devon. Numerous caricatures of Wardle, Clarke and the Duke of York were published at the time, including The Welsh Rat-Catcher which appeared in The Satirist and incorporated Devis's portrait.
Related worksback to top
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 642
- Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 520
Events of 1809back to top
Current affairsDuke 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 scienceMaria 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.
InternationalBritish 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.