Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson (1758-1805)
Half-length portrait, facing left in rear-admiral's undress uniform, 1795-1812 pattern, wearing the St Vincent medal and the star of a KB. The empty right sleeve is pinned across and the upper part slit and closed with ribbons to accommodate the wound dressing from Nelson's loss of his right arm at Santa Cruz, Tenerife, in July 1797. The original sketch was made by Abbott while Nelson was convalescent and staying with Lieutenant-Governor William Locker, his former captain, at Greenwich Hospital later that year. This is said to have been painted in 1798 and to be one of the first replicas from that original. The date of Nelson's KB, 27 September 1797, and his departure for the Mediterranean in April 1798 suggest the span within which it was painted, while he was Rear-Admiral of the Blue and before the Battle of the Nile - which brought further decorations and promotion to Rear-Admiral of the Red in February 1799. His rank at the time of painting is confirmed by the flags of the ship in the lower left corner (blue at the mizzen). The painting was presented by Nelson to his agent, Alexander Davison, whose grandson, Sir Walter Davison, bequeathed it to Greenwich Hospital in 1873.
Lemuel Francis Abbott
- Image reference: BHC2887
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection
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