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In the nineteenth century, as now, Landseer's fame rested on his ability as a painter of humorous or sentimental animal paintings. However he was also

an accomplished portrait, genre and landscape artist. This painting underlines the seemingly inexhaustible interest in commemorating the Napoleonic Wars. The whimsical scene, invented by the artist, shows Wellington, who was commander-in-chief of the Allied forces, returning to the battlefield of Waterloo with his daughter-in-law. Wellington himself disliked any attempt to paint the battle as he felt such images would inevitably fall short of the event itself.

September 2004