September 2 1812: Goya's Wellington

On September 2, 1812, Francisco Goya exhibits an equestrian portrait of Wellington at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. Wellington had entered Madrid on August 12, 1812. This would mean that Goya had three weeks to complete the painting which experts seem to agree would not be enough time. In fact, x-ray examinations of the painting have determined that Goya adapted the painting from another painting that, in all likelihood, he had started earlier. Wellington's head is painted over the head of this other sitter. The original painting may have been a portrait of King Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother. The Wellington portrait is at the collection at Apsley House. Goya also painted another portrait of Wellington and did a haunting drawing of an exhausted Wellington after a battle. For more information on Regency Portraits see the following post

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