Oil paintings, Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich

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Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, 1758-1805

BHC2889
Oil paintings

Object connections:

Collection Oil paintings, Fine art, Maritime Art Greenwich
ExhibitionsNelson, Navy, Nation
Gallery locationNelson, Navy, Nation Gallery (Floor plans)
PeopleProvenance: McArthur, John
Depiction: Nelson, Horatio
Provenance: St Croix, Jasper de
Publication(s)The National Maritime Museum - The Collections
Fletcher
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Treasures of the National Maritime Museum
Gloria Clifton and Nigel Rigby
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Object details:

Object ID BHC2889
Description A half-length portrait depicting Horatio Nelson, 1758-1805, when a rear-admiral, facing forward with his head turned to the left. He wears rear-admiral's undress of 1795-1812 pattern, with gold epaulettes, the Nile decorations, and in his hat the distinctive diamond chelengk given to him by the Sultan of Turkey. On his jacket he wears the star of a KB, granted to him on 27 September 1797, together with the Neapolitan Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, and the Turkish Order of the Crescent. His empty right sleeve is pinned across the front of his coat by the star of his KB, a reminder that he lost his right arm at Santa Cruz, in July 1797. This portrait was not painted from life but was commissioned in about 1799 by John McArthur, Nelson's biographer, in Nelson's absence abroad. It was to illustrate a short memoir of Nelson published in the 'Naval Chronicle' (Vol. III, 1800, pp. 157-191), of which McArthur was editor, and in which it was reproduced as a stipple engraving by Piercy Roberts. It is based on a study made by Abbot at Greenwich Hospital in 1797, while Nelson was convalescing from the loss of his arm and staying there with his former captain, the Lieutenant-Governor, William Locker. This is shown by the ribbons on his slit upper right sleeve, which at that time helped accommodate the dressing on the stump of his arm, but were removed from his uniforms once the wound had healed. Nelson was a rear-admiral from 20 February 1797 to his promotion to vice-admiral on 1 June 1801. This painting, with others by Richard Westall and Benjamin West, engraved in Clarke and McArthur's 1809 biography of Nelson, form a group presented to Greenwich Hospital by Jasper de St Croix and others in 1849. See also BHC2887 and BHC2888.
Date made 1799

Artist/Maker Abbott, Lemuel Francis
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 762 mm x 635 mm; Frame: 955 mm x 825 mm x 75 mm; Overall: 19.6 kg
Parts
  • Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson, 1758-1805 (BHC2889)
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