Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805)
A pull-out centrefold print (reproduced for Pears Annual) presented with 'Pears Pictorial, British Naval Achievements under the Heroic Nelson', June 1894. The head-and-shoulders image of Nelson is an idealized and softened version of the famous oil portrait by L. F. Abbott, BHC2889 in the NMM collection. Painted in about 1800, it shows a half-length portrait of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), facing forward with his head turned to the left. He wears rear-admiral's undress of 1795-1812 pattern, with gold epaulettes, the Nile decorations, and in his hat is the distinctive diamond chelengk given to him by the Sultan of Turkey. On his jacket he wears the star of a Knight of the Bath, awarded on 27 September 1797, together with the Neapolitan Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, and the Turkish Order of the Crescent. His empty right sleeve is pinned across the front of his coat by the star of his KB as a reminder that he lost his right arm at Santa Cruz, Tenerife, in July 1797. The detailing on the hat does not include the eye shade which Nelson usually also wore as protection after injuries sustained. Nelson was a rear-admiral from 20 February 1797 to his promotion to vice-admiral on 1 June 1801. This particular image of him in naval uniform and wearing all his medals has been adopted intentionally by Pears. It implies that the qualities of patriotism, duty, conviction and power for which Nelson stood were still demanded in 1897. The journal states: 'this empire so nobly maintained by Nelson and his brave sailors, is the national legacy we, with our successors, have the obligation of continuing and of handing down intact and impaired-as long as the British patriotism survives.'
Lemuel Francis Abbott
Original size: 614 mm x 488 mm
- Image reference: PZ8285
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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