Portrait of Marshall Ramon Cabrera, El Tigre del Maestrazgos oil on canvas 91.5 x 71.5cm (36 x 28 1/8in).
EXHIBITED: London, Royal Academy, 1864, no. 46
Marshall Raman Cabrera Marques del Ter (1806-77) was a Spanish Carlist general famous for his bravery, determination and mastery of guerilla warfare. He is also remembered for his brutality and ruthlessness.
During the First Carlist War (1833-39) Cabrera quickly rose to prominence. He became the head of Carlist forces in Aragon and Valencia in 1835 and was named Lieutenant-General and Count of Morella in 1838. He earned a reputation for unbounded devotion to the cause, holding his ground in central Spain for almost a year after the other Carlist forces had retreated into France. He was also known for merciless violence and cruelty. His most notorious massacre occurred after his mother was taken hostage and shot by the opposition. In revenge for this crime Cabrera is said to have slaughtered 1100 prisoners of war, 100 officers and 4 of their wives, and countless civilians, earning him the title 'The Tiger of Maestrazgo'.
Cabrera led the Carlist troops again in the Second Carlist War (1846-49) where the Carlist forces were again defeated. Cabrera retreated back to France and from there he travelled to England.
In exile, Cabrera and his English wife bought Wentworth House from the Duke of Wellington's brother-in-law, acquiring further land to create the Wentworth Estate where his widow lived until her death in 1915. These grounds would later be turned into the world famous golf club at Wentworth. The tomb and monument for this controversial and complex character can be found at the church in Virginia Water. A reproduction of the present lot hangs in the City Hall in Morella.