Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) Field Marshal & Prime Minister

  • About the work

    Published on the 25th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, this mezzotint shows Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington writing his correspondence at his desk, a day after the victory. Visible in the background are two soldiers tend to a wounded comrade. On 18 June 1815, Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo in Belgium by an Anglo-Allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington. In the following years the Battle came to be viewed as a defining moment in British history, celebrated throughout the 19th century.

    This print was made after a painting by Wellington's niece, Priscilla Anne Wellesley-Pole. A great favourite of the Duke, the two often exchanged correspondence on political matters. An artist and a linguist, Wellesley-Pole exhibited her work at Royal Society for British Artists and at the British Institution. She married diplomat and composer John Fane, Lord Burghersh, who in 1841 became 11th Earl of Westmorland.

  • About the artist
    Priscilla Anne Fane, Countess of Westmorland was considered the favourite niece of the Duke of Wellington. In 1811 she married John Fane, Lord Burghersh, appointed minister in Florence in 1814. They spent 16 years in Italy, before returning to London in 1830. It is not known who taught Priscilla to paint, but her portraits, religious and figure subjects suggest serious aspirations as an artist. She exhibited at the Society of British Artists and British Institution. In 1841 Burghersh was appointed minister at Berlin and inherited the title Lord Westmorland. The Westmorlands remained in Berlin for nine years, before a transfer to Vienna in 1851. Four years later they retired to Apethorpe, Northamptonshire. Priscilla died in London, aged 85.
    Thomas Hodgetts was a London-based landscape painter and mezzotint engraver of portraits and landscapes. He exhibited ten works at the Royal Academy, two at the British Institution and eleven at the Society of Artists in Suffolk Street, London.
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  • Details
    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) Field Marshal & Prime Minister
    published 18 June 1840
    Presented by Captain Frank Spicer, May 1952
    GAC number