The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Horatio Nelson

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Horatio Nelson

by Dominic Cardosi, after Franz Thaller, after Matthias Ranson
based on a work of 1801
27 in. (686 mm) high
NPG 2668

Inscriptionback to top

Incised on the back D. Cardosi.

This portraitback to top

While Nelson was being fêted in Vienna in August-September 1800 and giving sittings to Füger for an oil painting (see NPG 73) he also sat to the sculptor Franz Thaller, probably submitting to the undignified process of a life-mask (Walker, Mariner's Mirror, November 1980). The finished marble bust is in the National Maritime Museum, incised on the back: Franz Thaller et Matthias Ranson/Viennae Aust. MDCCCI; it was shipped to England shortly afterwards and appears in Edridge's drawing of Lady Nelson. Copies were turned out in large numbers by Turnerelli, Nollekens and other sculptors, and Flaxman clearly based his memorial in St Paul's Cathedral on the Vienna bust. Cardosi, an otherwise unrecorded sculptor, followed the Vienna bust closely with slight variation in the treatment of the hair. Another version is in a private collection in Dorking.

Physical descriptionback to top

Head and shoulders turned slightly to his left in rear-admiral's full-dress uniform, Ribbons of the Bath and the Crescent, Stars of the Crescent (above), St Ferdinand (left), Bath (right), two Naval Gold Medals in front (St Vincent and the Nile, the Nile Medal in reverse incised: NILE/FIRST AUGUST/1798), below the Stars another Gold Medal displaying the Victory and Britannia but probably intended to represent Davison's Nile Medal, officially not uniform; the empty right sleeve fastened straight across, the two naval gold buttons at the cuff worn horizontally.

Provenanceback to top

Bought from Miss Jane Scott Bell for the NPG Reference Collection 1934.


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.

View all known portraits for Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson