Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington (1769-1852) Field Marshal & Prime Minister
- About the work
About the artist
Little is known of the engraver William Greatbach. His large engraving of ‘The Waterloo Banquet’, after Salter’s original painting, was published by printseller and publisher Sir Francis Graham Moon (1796-1871) in 1846 and proved popular. The engraver also produced a print of ‘The First Day of Oysters’ (1846) by genre and domestic painter Alexander George Fraser (1786-1865) and, in the 1840s, contributed to a series of 15 plates after works by miniature painter George Perfect Harding (1779/80-1853). His success was such that he was able to take a pupil, Charles Henry Jeens (1827-1879), in the early 1850s.
William Salter was born in Honiton, Devon, but moved to London in his teens to become a pupil of James Northcote. Salter later travelled to Florence, where he was elected a member of the Florentine Academy of Fine Arts and also a member of the Rome and Parma Academies. He returned to England in 1833 and began working on ‘The Waterloo Banquet at Apsley House’, his most successful work. It took six years to complete and includes 84 portraits. In 1846 he became a member of the Society of British Artists, later becoming the Vice-President. In 1838, he presented an altarpiece, showing the ‘Descent from the Cross’, to the parish church in Horniton, the place of his birth. He died of bronchitis at his home in Fulham, leaving a widow, Mary.