Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) Field-Marshal & Prime Minister
About the work
Place: Foreign. Commonwealth & Development Office, Carlton Gardens
This three-quarter length portrait of the first Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, shows the Duke in a black frock coat, with arms folded and the Order of the Golden Fleece suspended from his collar.
It is thought that this painting was amongst five copies of portraits (the others depicting Nelson, Wellington, Fox, Pitt and Burke), which were commissioned by (William) Lockett Agnew (1858-1918) and presented by Agnew to Prime Minister Herbert Asquith for display at 10 Downing Street in 1910.
About the artist
Sir Thomas Lawrence was born in Bristol; the son of a supervisor of excise. In 1773 the family moved to Wiltshire to run a coaching inn but financial difficulties led them to move again to Bath, where Lawrence first worked as a portraitist. He may have had lessons from William Hoare, before enrolling at the Royal Academy schools in 1787. Aged 20, he received a royal commission for portraits of Queen Charlotte (1789-90) and Princess Amelia (1789). At 23 he replaced Reynolds as Painter-in-Ordinary and at 25, became a Royal Academician. Despite such success, he never escaped crippling debt. In 1815 he was knighted and commissioned to paint the Waterloo Chamber series of portraits. He replaced West as President of the Royal Academy in 1820.
William A. Menzies worked as a copyist, making numerous accurate reproductions of works by other artists. In total there are six copies by Menzies in the Government Art Collection, all of which were painted between 1910 and 1918.
- Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) Field-Marshal & Prime Minister
- Oil on canvas
- height: 125.00 cm, width: 98.00 cm
- Presented by William Lockett Agnew, 1910
- Commissioned by art dealer (William) Lockett Agnew (1858-1918); by whom presented for display in 10 Downing Street in 1910
- GAC number