The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, November 24, 2017


Unseen "Favourite" Portrait of Wellington Set to Be a Major Draw at Thomas Lawrence Exhibition
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington by Thomas Lawrence. Private Collection of Sir Robert Ogden CBE.


LONDON.- A rarely-seen portrait of the Duke of Wellington from a private collection and commissioned by one of his closest female friends is set to be a big draw at the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition devoted to the Regency artist Sir Thomas Lawrence, which opens on Thursday 21 October. Apart from a two-month exhibition in Bristol in 1951, the portrait has never been seen in public.

The portrait – which shows Wellington in civilian clothes rather than military attire – is widely held to be one of the artist’s most celebrated paintings. It is also one of the most successful and revealing portraits by any artist for whom the Duke sat. It comes as close as any to penetrating Wellington's aura of heroism and capturing the essence of the man.

Commissioned in 1820 by Wellington's close friends the diplomat Charles Arbuthnot and his wife Harriet, whom he had met in Paris in 1814, the portrait was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1822. Such was the intensity of Wellington’s relationship with Mrs Arbuthnot most contemporaries assumed they were lovers, while her husband Charles accepted their friendship. After his wife’s death, Charles moved in with Wellington and acted as his ‘Secretary’ for the rest of his life.

Among Lawrence's portraits of Wellington, this one is remarkable for the plainness of its conception and its intimacy. This seems to reflect the close relationship between Wellington and the Arbuthnots, and mirrors to an extent the private side of the hero which Harriet Arbuthnot reveals in her diaries. 'All other pictures of him depict him as a hero,' she says of the portrait which 'has all the softness and sweetness of countenance which characterises him when he is in the private society of his friends', and that 'the cloak is just like the Duke wears it, and the hand remarkably like!'

Exhibition Co-Curator Dr Lucy Peltz says: ‘While we will never know the true nature of Wellington’s feelings for Harriet Arbuthnot – and modern historians are sceptical – what is certain is that Wellington preferred the company of women and, if anything, the sensitivity and private register of this portrait could be understood as Lawrence’s response to the desires of both the sitter and the patrons.’

Wellington – who has been recently described as ‘vain about his lack of vanity’ – appears to have approved of this portrait above all others (and Lawrence painted eight between1814 and 1829), and it was engravings after this portrait that he most often gave to his friends and admirers as a memento. Writing in November 1820, Wellington declared that the portrait was ‘as good as any Lawrence ever painted', and later that 'Mr. Arbuthnot's picture is one of the best if not the best that he ever painted.'

Dressed in civilian clothes, punctuated only by the red ribbon of the Order of the Golden Fleece, the portrait was painted when Wellington was in transition from the theatre of war to the arena of politics.

The first exhibition in Britain since 1979 of the works of the great Regency painter Thomas Lawrence will open at the National Portrait Gallery in London on Thursday. Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance (21 October 2010 - 23 January 2011) will showcase the most important British portrait painter of his generation and explore his development as one of the most celebrated and influential artists in Europe at the start of the nineteenth century.

Among the most spectacular loans from the Royal Collection are the three monumental portraits (approx. 2700 x 1778mm) of Field Marshall Gebhardt von Blücher (1814), Charles, Archduke of Austria (1819) and Pope Pius VII (1820), which are normally displayed in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle. At the heart of the public tour of the Queen’s home, and part of the setting for ceremonial events, this group of some of the finest portraits by the artist who succeeded Sir Joshua Reynolds as Britain's greatest portrait painter, constitutes a rare and exceptional loan.

Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance includes Lawrence’s greatest paintings and drawings, many of which are rarely seen and which convey the power and originality of his work. Star exhibits include a recently rediscovered self-portrait, a drawing of Countess Therese Czernin and a painting of Emily, Lady Cahir, Later Countess of Glengall, which have never previously been seen in public. Of the 54 portraits in the exhibition, many have been generously loaned from private collections including Charles William Lambton, the famous “Red Boy,” as well as from public institutions such as the portrait of Elizabeth Farren from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

The exhibition, which has been organised by the National Portrait Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, will travel to the United States of America, where it will be the first substantial examination of the artist's works. Thomas Lawrence: Regency Power and Brilliance will introduce the artist’s paintings in all their beauty and virtuosity to a new generation of visitors and will re-examine his work in the light of recent scholarship on the art of the Regency period.






Today's News

October 21, 2010

Sotheby's Presents Highlights from Its Inaugural Important Russian Art Sale in Moscow

Christie's to Offer a Selection of Items from the Marylebone Cricket Club Collections

Special Installation by Dan Colen at Colette in Paris During the Week of FIAC 2010

Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale to Be Led by a Major Mark Rothko Painting

Museums Escape the Worst in Spending Review, will Only Face a 15 Percent Funding Cut

New Large-Scale and Single Continuous Installation by Roxy Paine at James Cohan Gallery

Swiss Archaeologists Find 5,000-Year-Old Door, One of the Oldest Ever Found in Europe

Exhibition at the Meadows Museum in Dallas Gives Sneak Peek at George Bush Archives

Exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery Focuses on Cézanne's Paintings of Card Players and Pipe Smokers

Important Russian Enamels and Fabergé from a Private New York Collection at Sotheby's

"No New Thing Under the Sun" Explored in Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts

New Museum Presents "Free," An Exhibition Exploring How the Web Has Expanded Our Cultural Space

Rare and Exceptional Works Lead Christie's Classical and Modern Chinese Paintings Sale

November Sunset Estate Auction to Feature Jewelry and Handbags from the Estate of Maria Helen Smith

George Best 1968 European Cup Winner's Medal Fetches £156,000 at Bonhams

Hitler Becomes Major Berlin Tourist Attraction, more than 10,000 Visitors Walk in Since Opening Friday

Prefabricated Architectural Designs by Jean Prouvé Inaugurate Gagosian's New Project Space in Paris

Unseen "Favourite" Portrait of Wellington Set to Be a Major Draw at Thomas Lawrence Exhibition

Hal Foster to Be Awarded 2010 Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing

Dallas Museum of Art Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Design Museum in London opens major exhibition to mark the 70th anniversary of Ferrari

2.- 'Salvator Mundi' by Leonardo da Vinci sells for $450mn in auction record: Christie's

3.- Pricing the priceless: the $450mn Da Vinci record

4.- Marc Chagall's "Les Amoureux" sets auction record at $28.5 million at Sotheby's

5.- Jackson Pollock's largest painting makes DC debut at the National Gallery of Art

6.- First major exhibition to reposition the history of 18th-century Mexican painting opens

7.- Exhibition brings together the largest group of original drawings by Michelangelo

8.- Rare Holocaust 'bread card' brooch recovered near Auschwitz

9.- Exhibition presents an homage to the late French artist Raymond Hains by Jérémy Demester

10.- China's futuristic library: More fiction than books



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful