20 Members enjoyed a private guided tour by the Keeper of the Wellington Collection on Thursday 17th October 2019.
As Apsley House did not open to the public until 11.am we had the House to ourselves for the first part of the tour.
This aristocratic townhouse originally built by Robert Adam was home to the first Duke of Wellington after his victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The house still contains the 1st Duke’s outstanding collection of fine and decorative art. Its internationally important collection includes an enormous statue of Napoleon by Canova, paintings by Lawrence, Goya, Rubens, Van Dyck, Caravaggio, Brueghel, Velazquez and other artists, many of which were given to the Duke following his military victories, by grateful European Royalty.
The current exhibition explores a little known period of the 1st Duke’s life – his years in India from 1797 to 1804. Objects on display included the wonderful silver-gilt Deccan service, laid up in the Waterloo gallery for the first time ever for the public, and some of the books that he took on his journey to India (the first time ever on public display). The exhibition also contains 2 portraits of the 1st Duke on loan from the family, an early work (before he went to India) by Hoppner, and one by Robert Home painted in Calcutta before he left India in 1804.