1 of 2 portraits of Giuseppina Grassini
by Samuel William Reynolds, published by Colnaghi & Co, after Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun
mezzotint, published 22 July 1806
21 in. x 15 3/4 in. (533 mm x 400 mm) paper size
Purchased with help from the Friends of the National Libraries and the Pilgrim Trust, 1966
Artistsback to top
- Colnaghi & Co (active 1809-1835), Publishers. Artist associated with 101 portraits.
- Samuel William Reynolds (1773-1835), Mezzotint engraver and painter. Artist associated with 629 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.
- Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-Le Brun (1755-1842), Painter. Artist associated with 19 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Cox, Paul, Wellington: Triumphs, Politics and Passions, 2015 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 12 March - 7 June 2015), p. 43 Read entry
Other liaisons included those in 1814, when Wellington was British ambassador in Paris, with the singer Giuseppina Grassini and the actress Marguerite Weimer, known as Mademoiselle Georges. Both of these had previously been mistresses of Napoleon, but Mlle Georges let it be known that the Duke was by far the more impressive lover.1
1 Elizabeth Longford, Wellington: The Years of the Sword (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 1969), p 375.
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1806back to top
Current affairsWilliam Pitt dies in January and his lifelong opponent Charles James Fox dies in September. Pitt is succeeded by William Wyndham, Baron Grenville, who forms the 'Ministry of all the Talents' coalition .
Prince of Wales instigates the 'Delicate Investigation'; a Parliamentary enquiry into claims that his wife Caroline had an illegitimate child.
Art and scienceJohn Constable embarks on a formative tour of the Lakes and makes landscape studies of the Langdale Pikes and Helvellyn.
Turner exhibits his Thames views to acclaim at his own London gallery.
Humphrey Davy discovers the elements potassium and sodium by passing an electrical current through molten compounds.
InternationalSoprano Angelica Catalani arrives from Italy to make her London debut, amazing audiences with her showpiece arias.
Napoleon turns his forces east against Austria, Russia and Prussia and enjoys a wave of French victories.
British attack on Buenos Aires under General William Beresford fails.
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