Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich

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Captain Peter Parker, 1785-1814

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Parker, Peter
Provenance: Parker, Lady
Artist: Hoppner, John

Object details:

Object ID BHC2934
Description A half-length portrait to left in captain's (over three years) full-dress uniform, 1795–1812 with the lapels buttoned back. In 1803, Parker was a lieutenant in the 'Victory', 100 guns, off Toulon, under Lord Nelson, from which in the following year he was promoted to commander. In October 1805 he was in command of the 'Weazel', 18 guns, and was the first to see the Franco-Spanish Allied fleet leaving Cadiz. He was sent to Gibraltar to warn the ships there and arrived back with the fleet to find that the Battle of Trafalgar had already been fought. He was immediately promoted captain and went to the Mediterranean. While in command of the frigate 'Menelaus', 46 guns, he distinguished himself in many small actions but particularly in his attempt to cut out the 'Pauline', 40 guns. In 1813 he returned to home waters and in the following year, still in the 'Menelaus', went to fight the Americans at the end of the War of 1812. He was killed in an attack on some militiamen near the Chesapeake River. Hoppner, the artist who painted this portrait, was born in Britain to German parents and grew up in George III’s court, where he was a member of the Chapel Royal choir and received an allowance from the king. He trained as an artist at the Royal Academy Schools in the 1770s and married Phoebe Wright, the daughter of the wax sculptor Patience Wright, in 1781. He gained a reputation as a portrait painter during the 1780s, developing a style which emulated the work of Sir Joshua Reynolds. After Reynolds’s death in 1792, Hoppner came to be regarded as one of the leading portrait painters of the day until his death in 1810. This portrait was left to Greenwich Hospital by the sitter's widow in 1851, when a separate note dated 1847 expressing her wish that they would accept it was found enclosed in her formal will. (Updated April 2019.)
Date made circa 1808-10

Artist/Maker Hoppner, John
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Frame: 963 mm x 816 mm x 72 mm;Painting: 762 mm x 635 mm
  • Captain Peter Parker, 1785-1814 (BHC2934)
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