HAYDON, Benjamin Robert, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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Unless otherwise indicated the image is of the most significant part of the object

HAYDON, Benjamin Robert (1786-1846). Historical painter.
Autograph Letter (third person) to [Dominic] Colnaghi (1790-1879, printseller), 1 page 8vo with integral blank, 4 Burwood Place, Connaught Square, 2 November 1839. Inviting Colnaghi to view his picture of 'The Duke & Copenhagen on the field at Waterloo 20 years after the fight'
The portrait in question was commissioned by a committee of gentlemen in Liverpool, and it is mentioned several times in Haydon's Diary (edited by William Bissell Pope, 1960-1963). The first mention of the picture occurs on 22 December 1838:
'On Saturday began the Duke & Copenhagen [the horse which Wellington rode at Waterloo] at 53 minutes ½ past 9 A.M. O God, on my knees, bless its commencement, progression, & conclusion. Grant it may prove for Ever my power of Painting a fine Portrait, when I have a great subject & am inspired by History.'
And on 8 May 1839:
'This day began again, & nearly finishyed Copenhagen for the great Picture. Godd bless me through it. Amen. Painted 6 hours.
May 10Painted six hours & ½.'
Haydon also records in detail the visit he made in October 1839 to Walmer to complete the Duke's portrait. Although he seems to have spent considerable hours and labour upon it the horse proved rather more difficult. As a matter of fact the notion of the Duke musing on the field of Waterloo twenty years after the battle is not historically accurate. He didn't.
The Haydons lived in Connaught Terrace from 1824 to 1846, but the address was changed some time before 10 February 1828 from 58 Connaught Terrace to 4 Burwood Place. (See The Diary, III, page 252n.
[No: 21098]

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