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Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, by John Jackson, 1830-1831 -NPG 1614 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington

by John Jackson
1830-1831
49 1/2 in. x 39 1/2 in. (1257 mm x 1003 mm)
NPG 1614

This portraitback to top

Wellesley and Steegman list five Jackson portraits of the Duke:
(1) Earl of Jersey's collection, head and shoulders in dark blue coat, Star of KG and Golden Fleece, of c.1824 and considered by Wellington's friend, Sarah Countess of Jersey, to have been the best likeness ever done of him (Wellesley and Steegman, Iconography of the 1st Duke of Wellington, 1935, p 24 and plate 26). Jackson's drawing of or for this was engraved by R. J. Lane as plate 8 of his Lithographic Imitations of Sketches by Modern Artists, 1828.
(2) NPG 1614.
(3) Carlton Club, London. Whole-length standing in undress uniform commissioned by Lord Lonsdale and with sittings in 1826 (letters from the Duke to Mrs Arbuthnot 28-31 July 1826), probably that exhibited RA 1827 (65).
(4) Chevening. A small whole-length version of (3) painted for General Phipps and bought by Lord Stanhope at Christie's (Phipps sale) 25 June 1859 (76).
(5) Drawing by Jackson known from Lane's lithograph published 1828.
The provenance of NPG 1614 is unknown before its acquisition in 1911 but H. C. Morgan in his unpublished thesis on Jackson puts forward a valuable suggestion. It is known from papers at Stratfield Saye that a portrait was commissioned from Jackson by the United Service Club and that the Duke agreed to sit in August 1830. The alteration in the position of the arms, clearly visible as pentimenti, could be explained by Jackson's dissatisfaction with the pose chosen by the Duke for the Lonsdale portrait: 'Your Grace will excuse me but the attitude you have chosen is exactly that of a Drill-Sergeant'. Jackson died in June 1831 and the unfinished NPG portrait may have been the result of this commission even though the old Ordnance uniform points to an earlier date (H. C. Morgan, Life and Works of John Jackson RA (unpublished thesis for Leeds University), 1956, pp 163-4 quoting Thomas Jackson, Life of the Rev Robert Newton, 1855, p 8).

Physical descriptionback to top

Three-quarter-length to right probably in the uniform of Master General of the Ordnance (before the alterations of 1828), holding a medal.

Provenanceback to top

Dr Theodore Fisher and bought from him 1911.

Reproductionsback to top

(Of the head and shoulders only reversed)
Lithograph by R. J. Lane published 1828.


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.

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