Art Collections Online
Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Picton (1758-1815)
SHEE, Sir Martin Archer (1769 - 1850)
Media: oil on canvas
Size: 214.0 x 137.1 cm
Acquired: 1907; Gift; Earl of Plymouth
Accession Number: NMW A 473
Born in Dublin, Shee came to London in 1788 where he rapidly established a reputation as a portrait painter and a poet, succeeding Lawrence as President of the Royal Academy in 1830. Sir Thomas Picton (1758-1818) was born in Poyston, Pembrokeshire and was commissioned in 1771. A controversial governor of Trinidad in 1797-1803, he made his reputation as the commander of the 3rd division during the Peninsular War in 1809-13. Wellington found him 'a rough foul-mouthed devil as ever lived, but he always behaved extremely well; no man could do better in different services I assigned to him'. Picton was killed at Waterloo in 1815. Shee first painted Picton's portrait in 1809-10. This picture may be the full-length one exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1816, where it hung above the door, to the painter's disgust.