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Horatio Nelson, 1758 -1805, Vice Admiral of the White

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Prints, drawings and watercolours
ExhibitionsSeduction and Celebrity: The Spectacular Life of Emma Hamilton
User collections Nelson and 'That Hamilton Woman' by Nationalmaritimemuseum
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Nelson, Horatio
Historical Association: Hamilton, Emma

Object details:

Object ID PAJ3939
Description Pastel portait of Nelson, when a rear-admiral, by Johann Heinrich Schmidt. It was done at Dresden, Saxony, in October 1800 by Schmidt, who was artist to the ducal court there. It is signed and dated upper right 'Schmidt / f. 1800'. A plaque attached to the frame bears the inscription '1758 Viscount Nelson 1805 Johann Heinrich Schmidt 1749 1829'. After Vienna, Nelson and his party travelled to Prague and then to Dresden where the Court painter Schmidt produced pastel drawings of Emma and Nelson, commissioned by Hugh Elliot, the British minister. Schmidt had already drawn Napoleon among other famous people. His portrait of Nelson agrees with contemporary accounts of Nelson’s appearance at this time, notably that by the Lutheran pastor Thomas Kosegarten who wrote ‘Nelson is one of the most insignificant figures I ever saw. His weight cannot be more than 70lbs. A more miserable collection of bones and wizened frame cannot be imagined. His bold nose, steady eye and the solid worth revealed in the whole face betray in some measure the great conqueror. He speaks little, and then only in English, and he hardly ever smiles.’ It is signed and dated upper right 'Schmidt / f. 1800'.
Date made 1800

Artist/Maker Schmidt, Johann Heinrich
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials gilt; paper; pastel
Measurements Frame: 460 x 393 mm
  • Horatio Nelson, 1758 -1805, Vice Admiral of the White (PAJ3939)
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