Demmed Painters

From the Duke of Wellington to Lady Shelley

London, March 1, 1825.

My Dearest Lady,

” . . . . I wish that I could as easily to myself satisfy you about the picture. But I cannot describe to you the inconvenience it is to me to sit. In fact, between Cabinets, Committees of the House of Lords, conferences with foreign Ministers and our own Ministers, etc., etc., the painters take up the only time I should have, if it was not for them, to transact business of any kind, or to read anything.

“I should not, nor do I, mind attending a good artist. But really, to sit as a ‘ Study ‘ to a young one who will never paint a picture as long as he breathes; and to pass three hours with him, and to have even one’s own reflections interrupted by his impertinence during that time, is more than human patience, even mine, can bear.

“However, I have promised him one more sitting, and he shall have it. But mind, that will make the tenth for this picture—viz. six at Maresfield and four in London; and I know that, after all, it will not be worth a pin!

Ever yours most affectionately,


The portrait referenced appears at the top of the post. Is it, or is it not, worth a pin, after all?

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