George Dyer commissioned James Northcote to paint his portrait in 1780, after the artist had returned from three years studying in Italy.

The following year Northcote chose this portrait as one of four paintings to display at the Royal Academy. Northcote has produced a most dashing and romantic image of a young marine. Dyer was commissioned into the Marines at the age of 18 in 1776 and finally retired as Second Colonel Commandant in 1816. A highlight of his career was the Battle of the Glorious First of June in 1794, in which he fought as Captain of Marines on board HMS Orion. However he began to suffer from severe sea sickness and after 1800 he was allowed to spend the remainder of his career ashore, much of it employed in recruiting.


A V Singlehurst; Sotheby's 1985; Elton John; Sotheby's 2003.

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