Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Vice Admiral Horatio, Viscount Nelson (1758 - 1805) 1802

John Hoppner RA (17581810)

Vice Admiral Horatio, Viscount Nelson (1758 - 1805), John Hoppner RA
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Oil on canvas
19th Century
30 x 25 inches 76.2 x 63.5 cm
 
Provenance:
J W Biddulph, Esq, Burotn Park, Petworth Sold: Christies, April 24th 1897, Acquired for Mr Bigelaw
To view portraits by John Hoppner for sale, please go to www.philipmould.com.

Arguably the most important portrait of Nelson, this is the from-life head and shoulders for the Hoppner full length in the Queen's collection. The picture can be seen as the most honest and compelling image of Nelson, an extremely forthright rendering of the naval commander as he was three years before Trafalgar, his reputation already established as our greatest naval hero. It shows the inner man, who was maimed by war and who suffered, as opposed to the adonised image with which we are more familiar. His features are haggard and slightly sunken, and no attempt is made to disguise his useless eye or the heavy creases leading from chin to nose. Perhaps because of this honesty, and despite his sickly pallor, he comes across as a figure of great strength and humanity; it becomes possible to perceive the qualities that so fascinated Lady Hamilton and impressed society to such a degree
Philip Mould Ltd, 18-19 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5LU.Copyright Philip Mould Ltd.