Chantrey’s bust of Nelson
Sir Frances Chantrey was commissioned to create four marble busts, including one of Nelson, in the 1830s
A bronze of that Nelson bust was given to Greenwich Hospital by Lady Chantrey following her husband’s death where it stood for several decades in the Painted Hall which at that time housed the National Naval Gallery collection.
It was then placed in the Grand Square of the Royal Naval College. After about thirty years, the bust was moved while the Greenwich Night Pageant of 1933 took place.
It never returned to the naval college and instead a new home was found for the bust in the grounds of a Greenwich Hospital building which was soon to become the National Maritime Museum.
The bust has remained there ever since and can be found in a small grassy area behind a ramp to the east of the NMM’s recently built southern entrance.
The original marble bust is in the Royal Collection and can be viewed in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Photo from the Getty archives of the bust being moved in the 1930s.