All About The Duke of Wellington by Francisco Goya

Title of Artwork: “The Duke of Wellington”

Artwork by Francisco Goya

Year Created 1812-1814

Summary of The Duke of Wellington

Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington, was painted by Francisco Goya during his time as a British general serving in the Peninsular War in Spain. After Wellington’s arrival into Madrid in 1812, Goya began painting this picture of him as an earl wearing a crimson uniform and the Peninsular Medal. Later, in 1814, the artist altered it to include the Order of the Golden Fleece, Military Gold Cross with three clasps, and a full black outfit with gold braid (both of which Wellington had been awarded in the interim).

All About The Duke of Wellington

Auctioned in 1961 by the 11th Duke of Leeds, it sold for $140,000 to a collector in New York City.

To Wrightsman’s proposal, the Wolfson Foundation donated $100,000 and the government added a special Treasury grant of $40,000, resulting in the painting’s acquisition and its first public display at the National Gallery in London.

It was stolen on August 21, 1961, 19 days after it was reported missing.

The picture and its frame were later retrieved and Kempton Bunton admitted to stealing them in July 1965.

In the wake of a high-profile trial in which Jeremy Hutchinson, QC represented Bunton, the jury ruled the artist not guilty of theft but convicted of theft of the frame.

Dr. No, a 1962 James Bond film, featured a reference to the robbery. While at Dr. Julius No’s lair, the picture was displayed, hinting that he had stolen it.

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