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Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Bt, 1769-1839, Vice-Admiral of the Blue
|Description||A three-quarter-length full-face portrait in rear-admiral's full dress uniform, 1832-33 with the ribbon and star of the GCB and holding a telescope in his left hand. This striking and powerful image has conveyed the impression of a ship, with rigging visible top right and a cannon bottom right, on the breech of which Hardy's telescope rests. The background implies dark swirling clouds, which enhance the dramatic effect. Hardy is best known as Nelson's friend, flag-captain and commander of 'Victory' at the Battle of Trafalgar, 1805. He had come to Nelson's notice during the Nile campaign in 1798 as a young Commander in the 'Mutine', brig, was promoted to became First Sea Lord in 1830 and became Governor of Greenwich Hospital in 1834, the date of this painting. William IV, a great admirer who made several visits to Greenwich during his tenure, only agreed to the appointment on condition that should an emergency arise he could be recalled to active duty. He was a popular Governor, carrying out many reforms in the Hospital and on his death was buried just beside the west wing of the Museum in the mausoleum of the old Hospital Burial Ground. The painting was presented to the Hospital by his widow Louisa, Lady Hardy, in 1840. Hardy had daughters but no son, so his baronetcy died with him and his name has only descended in his collateral family.|
|Credit||National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection|
|Materials||oil on canvas|
|Measurements||Painting: 1435 x 1137 mm|
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