Wellington: Triumphs, Politics and Passions
National Portrait Gallery
12 March -7 June 2015
The first gallery exhibition devoted to the Duke of Wellington will open at the National Portrait Gallery, to mark the 200th anniversary year of the Battle of Waterloo in 2015, it was announced today (Wednesday 29 October 2014). Highlights include Goya’s portrait of Wellington started in 1812 after his entry into Madrid and later modified twice to recognise further battle honours and awards; and from Wellington’s London home, Apsley House, Thomas Lawrence’s famous 1815 portrait painted in the same year as the Battle of Waterloo. This iconic military image of Wellington was used as the basis of the design of the British five pound note from 1971 to 1991.
Drawn from museums and private collections including that of the present Duke of Wellington, the exhibition of 59 portraits and other art works has the support of the Marquess of Douro, and includes rarely-seen loans from the family including a portrait by John Hoppner of the Duke as a youthful soldier and a daguerreotype portrait by Antoine Claudet, in the new medium of photography, taken on Wellington’s 75th birthday in 1844. The family has also loaned Thomas Lawrence’s beautiful drawing of Wellington’s wife, Kitty (née Pakenham).