Charming George III Naïve Portrait of a Gentleman
perhaps Richard Colley Wellesley, shown seated writing the date 1793 in a ledger, a spaniel on his lap; in giltwood frame.
By family tradition of the previous owners, this was considered to be an early portrait of the young Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), later 1st Duke of Wellington, executed in Ireland, where he was born and raised and, by the late 1780s, aide-de-camp to the Lord Lieutenant and soon to be a member of the Irish parliament. If, indeed, the sitter is a Wellesley, it seems more likely to depict Arthur’s older brother, Richard Colley Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley (1760-1842) [here shown ten years younger in a drawing of 1783] . In 1793 (the date in the ledger) Richard Colley Wellesley became a commissioner of the Board of Control for India, it seems possible that the portrait was painted to commemorate this appointment.