Welcome to “Y” in the A to Z Challenge 2017. The 1st Duke of Wellington is my theme for this year’s Challenge.
Reprint of article on earliest picture of the Duke:
He may have fought in some 60 battles during a long and distinguished military career, earning himself the nickname ‘Iron Duke’, but a little-known portrait miniature of the 1st Duke of Wellington has emerged, revealing a fresh-faced young man, as yet unsullied by the scars of war.
The portrait, which dates from c.1787 and is the earliest known of the duke, stands at just two-and-a-half inches high. It will be displayed in London next month as part of the In Love and War: The Story of the Military Portrait Miniature exhibition, the first time the portrait has ever been shown in public.
Other highlights from the BADA Antiques and Fine Art Fair exhibition, collated from an anonymous private collector of portrait miniatures, include portraits of General Ballard Long, who fought in the Napoleonic Wars, and a two-and-a-quarter inch high portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Portrait miniatures date back to the 16th century and were popular in Britain for 300 years. Before the introduction of the photograph, they were considered a useful way of introducing people over long distances – a nobleman might send a portrait miniature of himself as a way of proposing marriage. Soldiers and sailors would also often keep portrait miniatures of loved ones while they were away for months at a time.
Another portrait miniature of the Duke:
Previous A to Z Challenge 2017 posts: