William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, 1721-1765. Youngest son of George II (About 1758)

About this artwork

William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland was the second surviving son of King George II. He followed a short spell in the navy with a career in the military, serving at the Battle of Dettingen in 1743 where he was wounded below the knee, an injury from which he never recovered. He commanded the army which pursued Prince Charles Edward Stewart during the 1745 Rising and defeated the Jacobite army at the Battle of Culloden 1746. As a result of his ruthless treatment of the rebels he earned the nickname the 'Butcher'. The sash of the Order of the Garter is visible across his chest; the Duke was given this honour in 1730 when he was still a child.

Sir Joshua Reynolds

Sir Joshua Reynolds

Reynolds was born in Plympton, Devon, the son of a headmaster. He was apprenticed to the London portrait painter, Thomas Hudson, in 1740. In 1749 he went to Italy, spending two years in Rome. On his return, in 1753, he set up a studio in London. Reynolds developed a portrait style which attempted to marry the sitter's need for a fashionable likeness with the complexity of traditional religious and historical painting. His compositions are usually interesting but his technique was often unsound, and many of his pictures have deteriorated badly. He was a founding member of the Royal Academy of Arts and its first president, a position of huge influence which Reynolds used to set the future course of British art.