A three-quarter-length portrait showing the sitter in Rear-Admiral's full-dress uniform of 1793–1812. His right hand is outstretched on his sword hilt, and he wears the medals for St Vincent and the Nile together with the collar decoration of the Order of a Knight Commander of St Ferdinand and of Merit. He was briefly a Captain in St Vincent's fleet and in 1805, as a Rear-Admiral, he went to the East Indies with orders to take command of part of the station. This painting is a replica of the original by Beechey, done for Lord Egerton. The artist trained as a lawyer before entering the Royal Academy Schools, London, in 1772, where he may have studied with Johan Zoffany. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1776, and throughout his career he produced competent portraits since he had no shortage of clients throughout his long career. In 1793, he was named portrait painter to Queen Charlotte, and undertook a number of royal commissions. His straightforward style perfectly suited the stolid and conventional taste of the royal family. In 1795, John Opie described Beechey's pictures as 'of that mediocre quality as to taste & fashion, that they seemed only fit for sea Captains & merchants'.
Where to see this painting?
National Maritime Museum
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