Buying Nelson: Sir James Caird’s Gifts to the National Maritime Museum
As well as other magnificent and wide ranging gifts to the National Maritime Museum, Sir James Caird contributed substantially to its collection of oil paintings, prints, drawings and watercolours associated with Nelson. Caird’s correspondence with Sir Geoffrey Callender between 1929 and 1946 reveals their feelings about the relevance and cost of potential purchases. The work of Wyllie and Pocock was augmented by other paintings of HMS Victory, and of Trafalgar and earlier battles. Neither Lady Hamilton nor Napoleon was excluded from the portraits of Nelson’s contemporaries. The painting of a cadet of 1890 looking at Nelson’s portrait of 1799 reinforced continuity.