Henry William Pickersgill

General Sir George Murray, 1772 - 1846. Soldier and statesman (About 1825)

About this artwork

George Murray was born in Crieff and became the most respected soldier of his time in Britain after the Duke of Wellington. His military career began in 1789 when he obtained commission into the 71st Foot – a Highland regiment in the British Army – reaching the rank of Captain by 1794. Yet it was as Quartermaster-General that Murray excelled. He was appointed to the Duke of Wellington’s army in the Peninsular War, taking part in most of the major battles against Napoleon. In 1819 he became Governor of the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, remaining there for five years until his election as M.P. for Perthshire. This relatively small portrait is believed to be a preparatory study or further version of a much larger painting.

Henry William Pickersgill

Henry William Pickersgill

Henry William Pickersgill was a successful portrait painter whose work was recognised as a refreshingly sober and accurate alternative to the elaborate styles of the leading portraitists. Pickersgill first studied under George Arnald and in 1805 enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools in London. The following year he exhibited his first work, a portrait of his adoptive father Henry Hall. During a prolific career that spanned 66 years, Pickersgill showed nearly 400 works at the Royal Academy and painted many more. After the death of Thomas Phillips in 1845, Pickersgill’s position as a painter of eminent men and women became almost unchallenged. A key figure in his career was his wife, Maria, who contributed to her husband’s commercial success by managing all his affairs.