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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.
The National Gallery, London
Oil on canvas
H 236 x W 145.5 cm
Bequeathed by Mrs Henrietta Charlotte Tarleton, 1951