LONDON, December 08, 2014 -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Next year marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, and London will be commemorating the occasion with a number of events, including a brand new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Wellington: Triumphs, Politics and Passions (12 Mar-7 Jun 2015) will explore not only the political and military career of the victor of this great battle but also his personal life through portraits of his family and friends. It takes place at the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square, close to numerous central London attractions and well-placed for cheap London hotels as well as the best London restaurants, shops and cafes. For more on the area, see LondonTown.com.
Highlights of the exhibition will include Goya's portrait of Wellington started in 1812 after his entry into Madrid and later modified twice to recognise further battle honours and awards, and Thomas Lawrence's famous 1815 portrait painted in the same year as the Battle of Waterloo. This iconic military image of Wellington was used as the basis of the design of the £5 note from 1971 to 1991. Drawn from museums and private collections including that of the present Duke of Wellington, the exhibition of 59 portraits and other art works includes rarely-seen loans from the family including a portrait by John Hoppner of the Duke as a youthful soldier and a daguerreotype portrait by Antoine Claudet, in the new medium of photography, taken on Wellington's 75th birthday in 1844.
The real experience of soldiers fighting in Wellington's armies will also be explored through eyewitness accounts, including prints based on sketches by serving soldiers. But overall, Wellington: Triumphs, Politics and Passions will consider the attempts of the art world to celebrate the Duke of Wellington's military successes. Commemorative objects on display will range from royal commissions by Europe's foremost artists and manufacturers to more modest souvenirs aimed at the domestic market. Wellington's eventful and often difficult political career will be illustrated by examples of the many satirical prints published in the 1820s and 1830s and the exhibition will also examine the reappraisal of Wellington's life that took place at his death and on the occasion of his lavish state funeral. The exhibition is part of the Battle of Waterloo 200th Anniversary Commemorations. For more information on other events in the commemorations, see LondonTown.com.
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