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Engraving - ‘The Waterloo Banquet at Apsley House, June 18, 1836’, 1846
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Engraving - ‘The Waterloo Banquet at Apsley House, June 18, 1836’, 1846

Measurements: Overall: 83cm (32.6in) x 131cm x (51.5in)

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Large engraving by William Greatbach after William Salter. Image 62.5cm x 111cm. Published  by Moon, 184. Complete with the original biographical key. Complete with biographical key. Both framed and glazed.

This comprehensive group portrait of senior Waterloo and Peninsula officers depicts the moment a toast is made during the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo Banquet, held annually from 1829 until the Duke’s death in 1852. The guests are assembled in the magnificent Waterloo Gallery at Apsley House, the Duke’s residence in London. The engraving which followed the painting five years later, was published to popular acclaim in 1846 following a public exhibition of William Salter’s original painting at the Threadneedle Street offices of the publisher Alderman (later Sir Francis) Moon. The engraving depicts the Waterloo Banquet of 1836, this being the year that two reigning monarchs, William IV (1765-1837) and William II of the Netherlands (1792-1849 attended. Salter also managed to include not only himself in the painting and engraving but also his patron Lady Burghesh. They can be seen standing the door way together with Alderman Moon in the garb of a waiter. The painting was so popular that Moon, a stationer by trade, was able to sell tickets to see it, and in 1846 an engraving by William Greatbach of the painting also sold well. 

According to ‘Wellingtonia: Anecdotes, Maxims and Characteristics of the Duke of Wellington’ (1852), Salter was riding in Hyde Park on Waterloo Day (18 June) 1836 when he glimpsed the annual reunion of senior officers who had served under Wellington at Waterloo participating in the banquet held at the Duke's London residence, Apsley House at Hyde Park Corner. Salter was so struck by the spectacle that he approached Lady Burghersh with an idea for a painting to capture the scene. She was enthusiastic and went to her uncle with the proposal. The Duke was hesitant as he considered Salter's youth (he was thirty two at the time) would not be up to the complexity of such a painting, but Lady Burgersh persisted and at length the Duke was persuaded. Salter was given access to Apsley House’s first floor, double height State Dining Room so he could make studies of Wyatt’s interior and the magnificent dinner service presented to Wellington in 1816 by the Portuguese Council of Regency. Over the next few years Salter made ad vivum preparatory portraits of 81 veteran Waterloo officers while the Duke gave him sittings at Walmer Castle in 1839, and in 1841. 

 

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