The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Duke of Wellington with Colonel Gurwood at Apsley House
  • Andrew Morton (1802 - 1845)
  • The Duke of Wellington with Colonel Gurwood at Apsley House
  • England
  • c. 1840
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 238.2 x 182.9 cm
    Frame size: 271.5 x 215 cm
  • Inscription: 'Waterloo'
    Inscription: 'June 1815 / A to E / Bruxelles / Waterloo June 19 1815 / To N 23 / Lord Bathurst / Report of the Operations / Battle of Waterloo' Waterloo crossed through
    Inscription: 'Marlborough' and 'Dispatches'
  • P632
  • Hall
Further Reading
  • Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), 1st Duke of Wellington is shown seated in the library of Apsley House, the duke’s London residence following his victory at Waterloo. Standing beside Wellington is his secretary Colonel John Gurwood, an army officer who had fought with Wellington in the Napoleonic campaigns. Gurwood edited Wellington’s Despatches, published in 1834-9. Gurwood pulls out a despatch describing Wellington’s greatest victory, the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo on 18 June 1815. Wellington may be explaining that this despatch was begun at Waterloo but finished in Brussels. Indeed, ‘Waterloo’ is crossed out on the sheet that Gurson holds out.
    The painting is also an accurate description of the interior of the library at Apsley House; the furniture and bookcases shown in the picture are still there today. The device on the arm of the duke’s chair may be some sort of hearing aid.
    Gurwood was also a friend of the 4th Marquess of Hertford, who acquired Morton’s painting in 1859, presumably for sentimental reasons.