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Horatia Nelson kneeling before her father's tomb

Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art
User collections Nelson and 'That Hamilton Woman' by Nationalmaritimemuseum
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Nelson, Horatia

Object details:

Object ID BHC2885
Description A full-length portrait facing to right in a white dress and drawers, red pumps and a cross on a necklace which is probably made of coral. Horatia is shown on bended right knee at the (imaginary) tomb of her father, Nelson, on the right, with the letters ‘NELS’ and ‘TRAF’ clearly inscribed on it. A curtain is draped on the left to enhance the dramatic effect. This is one of two versions of this subject, the other being by Isaac Pocock who exhibited his at the Royal Academy in 1807. The painting is part of the Nelson-Ward Collection, acquired directly from Horatia’s family in 1946, with its attribution to William Owen, and in 1961 the NMM preliminary cataloguie of oil portraits suggested it might date to 1810 or shortly after. Although it is not signed, the Owen attribution may be true although the quality is inferior to his usual work, especially for female sitters. However, the age of the sitter (b.1801) as nine-plus is at least questionable as is whether Owen would have painted her at that point given her mother, Lady Hamilton's, current circumstances. (He had come to London in 1780 and entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1791: on the death of Hoppner in 1810 he was appointed portrait painter to the Prince of Wales and became Principal Painter to him as Prince Regent in 1813.) Give the quality issue, a possible alternative artist may be Isaac Pocock (son of Nicholas, the marine painter) who exhibited a significant number of portraits and historical subjects at this time including a portrait of 'MIss H. Nelson' at the Royal Academy in 1807. Only a handful of portraits by Pocock are now recorded in British public collections, of variable quality and generally inferior to Owen, and some examples suggest it is at least as likely to be by him although this does not explain how Owen's name was originally attached to it. [PvdM updated11/14]
Date made after 1807

Artist/Maker Owen, William
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Nelson-Ward Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 1270 mm x 1016 mm; Frame: 1604 mm x 1360 mm x 125 mm
  • Horatia Nelson kneeling before her father's tomb (BHC2885)
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