The Victory of Vittoria Gained, June 21, 1813 and The Battle of the Pyrenees, Bordeaux Delivered, 1814

Thomas Stothard British
Printer McQueen & Co. British

Not on view

In 1814 Stothard won a competition to design a large gilt-silver ceremonial shield honoring Arthur Wellesley, duke of Wellington, for his military successes in the Iberian peninsula. Wellesley's leadership in the Peninsular War (1808–14), helped push French forces out of Portugal and Spain, unseat Napoleon, and reopen British trade with the Continent. A group of London merchants and bankers sponsored the competition and Stothard's designs were cast by the silversmith Benjamin Smith, working for the firm of Green, Ward and Green. In 1822 the shield was presented to the duke and put on display at Apsley House in London. Two years earlier, Stothard had etched his designs at the same scale as the shield. These two panels commemorate British victories at Vittoria, and in the Pyrenees, leading to their entrance into the French border province of Bordeaux in 1814.

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