Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

Colonel Tarleton

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.

Buy a print or image licence

You can purchase this reproduction

If you have any products in your basket we recommend that you complete your purchase from Art UK before you leave our site to avoid losing your purchases.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

Reynolds portrays Banastre Tarleton (1754–1833) aged 27, in action as commandant of the British Legion cavalry in the War of American Independence. Tarleton was famed for his reckless bravery and savagery, as well as for his vanity. He later became MP for Liverpool and defended the slave trade, on which his family’s fortune had been founded. He was made a general in 1812 and a baronet in 1816.

Reynolds portrays Tarleton momentarily dismounted on a battlefield, with gun-smoke swirling behind him. Wearing the uniform of the British Legion, he props one leg up on a cannon to re-fix his sword to his belt before changing horses. Reynolds frequently drew on ideas from old master paintings, drawings and antique sculpture for his compositions. Tarleton’s pose appears to be based on works by Rembrandt, Tintoretto and an ancient Roman sculpture of Hermes.

The National Gallery, London



Colonel Tarleton




Oil on canvas


H 236 x W 145.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bequeathed by Mrs Henrietta Charlotte Tarleton, 1951

Work type



See a tag that’s incorrect or offensive? Challenge it and notify Art UK.

Help improve Art UK. Tag artworks and verify existing tags by joining the Tagger community.

Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue