To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo a rarely exhibited treasure of the RA’s Collection, the Daniel Maclise cartoon, The Meeting of Wellington and Blücher after the Battle of Waterloo, will be on display after spending decades in storage.
Over 13 metres wide, it is one of the largest cartoons in the UK and was produced in preparation for a prestigious commission in the Houses of Parliament, where the the finished wall-painting is still on display. A work of monumental scale and drama it depicts one of the most significant battles in British history in incredible detail.
Maclise was a prolific painter and illustrator who was much admired for his draughtsmanship and his outstanding skill is showcased in the Waterloo Cartoon. Completed from 1858–1859 he used extensive research and eye-witness accounts to inform the work. Remarkably the piece does not portray triumphalism or glorify war, instead highlighting the tragedy and suffering of this ferocious battle.
The cartoon has recently undergone conservation treatment, thanks to funding from the Arts Council England, to allow it to be presented during this significant occasion.