The Wellington Testimonial, Phoenix Park

Artist(s) : George Petrie (Draughtsman), James Archer (Engraver)

This print shows Robert Smirke’s design for the Wellington Testimonial, rather than the result achieved in the 1820s.
In front of the monument are four horsemen, possibly military, while tiny figures are dotted around the pyramidal pedestal. In the foreground two men in tall hats contemplate the obelisk; the individual seated on the ground may be engaged in sketching. An inscription can be seen on the left face of the obelisk, and a suggestion of the intended bronze bas-reliefs around the base. To the left, rising from the pedestal, a separate plinth supports the planned equestrian statue of Wellington which was never created. The South Dublin mountains are seen in the far distance.
The print was incorporated by Miss Hammill into her diary of her travels in Wales and Ireland (1828-1829). It is cropped at the bottom. A similar one in the National Library of Ireland is inscribed 'Fisher, Son & Co. London, 1828.' It appeared in G.N. Wright’s Ireland Illustrated (1831) and Wakeman's Dublin Delineated (1831) with the same inscription.

Archiseek, at Accessed 14.4.2018.
Rosalind M. Elmes and Michael Hewson, Catalogue of Irish topographical prints and original drawings (Dublin: Malton Press for the National Library of Ireland Society, 1975).
E. MacDowel Cosgrave, ‘A Contribution Towards a Catalogue of Nineteenth-Century Engravings of Dublin (Continued)', The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Fifth series, vol. 37, no. 1 (March 31, 1907), 41-60.
Paula Murphy, Nineteenth-century Irish sculpture: native genius reaffirmed (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010), chap. 1.
National Library of Ireland, at Accessed 14.4.2018.
George Newenham Wright, Ireland illustrated: from original drawings by Geo. Petrie, W.H. Bartlett, T.M. Baynes and others (London: H. Fisher, Son, and Jackson, 1831).

Inscribed in Image

  • Signature – Drawn by Geo. Petrie Esq. R.H.A. / Engraved by Jas. Arche[r]
  • Caption outside of boundaries of image – The Wellington Testimonial, Phoenix Park.
  • Text outside of boundaries of image – Respectfully dedicated to the Commissioners of the Wellington Testimonial.

Image Details

Genre Landscape
Technique Engravings
Subject(s) Architecture, Cities and towns
Geographical Location
  • Dublin - Town or city
  • Dublin - County
  • Leinster - Province
  • Wellington Monument, Phoenix Park - Named locality
Keywords(s) Artists, Gardens & parks, Horses, Mountains, Obelisks, People, Sculpture, Trees
Colour Monochrome
Dimensions 9.2 cm x 15 cm
Published / created 1828

Bibliographical Details

Travel Account Diary of travels in Wales and Ireland
Print or manuscript Manuscript
Location of image in copy opp. p. 20
Source copy National Library of Ireland MS 34,290/1
Alternative source

This is a link to a digital copy hosted by an external website.
Rights National Library of Ireland

Related text from travel account

19th [August 1828] — After viewing Merrion Square the west end of which is occupied by Leinster House formerly the town residence of the Duke but now used by the Dublin Society of Arts, we drove through the Phoenix Park the country residence of the Lord Lieutenant. Near the entrance to the Vice-regal Lodge is a Corinthian column, 30 feet high on the summit is a Phoenix — it was erected in 1745 but looks very insignificant. There is a large plain of 50 acres where the troops are reviewed on the King’s birthday; the whole park contains about 1000 acres — The Wellington Testimonial is in the form of an obelisk 200 feet high having the names of the victories won by the Duke from his entrance into military life to the Battle of Waterloo. [pp. 19-20]
The Wellington Testimonial, Phoenix Park