Major-General James Wolfe, 1759

J S C Schaak

 
Major-General James Wolfe, 1759
4 0 c m
 
35cm
actual image size: 27cm x 32cm

Major-General James Wolfe, 1759.

Oil on canvas by J S C Schaak after a drawing by Captain Hervey Smyth, 1760.

In the decade following General Wolfe's death in 1759, this was the most famous image of this remarkable young man. It is the earliest accurate portrait of him at the moment of his greatest victory at Quebec.

When news of Wolfe's heroic death in the service of his country reached Britain on 16 October 1759, he became a celebrity overnight. The public wanted to know what he looked like, but because he died in action there were no existing portraits showing him at the time of his triumph. This painting is the closest there is: although painted shortly after his death, it is based on an eyewitness sketch by Wolfe's aide-de-camp, Captain Hervey Smyth.

© National Army Museum Copyright
Purchased with the generous assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Society of Friends of the National Army Museum and The Art Fund.

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