Welcome to “L” in the A to Z Challenge 2017. The 1st Duke of Wellington is my theme for this year’s Challenge.
Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) was the painter of the most well-known portrait of the 1st Duke of Wellington:
From the English Heritage Apsley House website:
The most iconic portrait of Wellington by the celebrated regency painter Sir Thomas Lawrence. Wellington disliked sitting for portraits, but he respected Lawrence and they became friends. Wellington commands the canvas, the very embodiment of military sang-froid. For all its military overtones this was commissioned as a gift for a lady, Marianne Patterson, a wealthy American heiress whom Wellington greatly admired.
Another portrait of Wellington as listed by Christie’s in 2006:
—Portrait of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, K.G., K.B., M.P. (1769-1852), bust-length, in civilian clothes with a military cloak, wearing the insignia of the Order of the Golden Fleece, oil on unlined canvas, 30 x 25½ in.
On the back of this work was an inscription: ‘An admirable likeness. Charles Arbuthnot 13[?]th… 1821[?]’
Lawrence was born in Bristol and grew up mainly in Bath. His father was an innkeeper and the family moved a few times when Lawrence was young. His parents had 16 children, but only 5 of these children survived infancy. When he was quite young, Lawrence began supporting his parents through his pastel portraits. He moved to London eventually, moving his parents and establishing them in their own home there. He moved to a number of studios in town and finally settled in his parents home after they died. Lawrence never married but was said to always be in love and in debt. He didn’t spend money on gambling, drinking, drugs, or any other vices, he simply was generous to family and friends and spent money on art. His career was set when he was given a commission to paint Queen Caroline and her daughter Charlotte. Lawrence lived to be 60 years old.
Following is an engraving after a self-portrait by Lawrence:
Previous A to Z Challenge 2017 posts: