David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty (1871-1936)

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David Beatty, 1st Earl Beatty (1871-1936)
As a young man David Beatty pursued an extremely swift and successful career in the British Navy. In 1910 he became the youngest admiral since Nelson, and was made commander-in-chief of the Grand Fleet during the crucial years of the First World War. The Armistice and the collapse of Germany robbed him, he believed, of the 'glorious achievement' he had expected - the destruction of the German High Sea Fleet. Both Beatty and his wife thought the portrait was a bad likeness. Beatty even offered to sit again for William Orpen to correct the painting, but this idea was firmly resisted. Orpen himself, however, admitted to being a little colour blind – he saw red as pink and tried to correct this in his pictures, but was still criticised for making his sitters look too ruddy.

Glossary Open


The end of a war, when the parties involved agree to stop fighting. ‘The Armistice’ refers to the end of World War I, on November 11, 1918.



  • Acc. No. PG 1036
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 76.20 x 63.50 cm (framed: 87.50 x 75.00 x 3.50 cm)
  • Credit Purchased 1926