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.

Height 73 cm (28.75 inches)
Width 62 cm (24.5 inches)
early 1790s