The equestrian bronze statue that surmounts the Wellington Arch in Talbot's photograph is of the Duke of Wellington. The arch looks very different today from when it was photographed by Talbot.
In 1846 the arch was selected as a location for a statue of the Duke of Wellington. The bronze statue which eventually crowned the arch was by Matthew Cotes Wyatt. It remained there, atop the arch, throughout the lifetime of the Duke's life.
In 1882–1883 the arch was moved a few yards south east to Hyde Park Corner as part of a road-widening scheme. Once in its new position the statue of Wellington was moved to Aldershot and was eventually replaced by the complex bronze statue which is there to this day. The replacement statue by Adrian Jones is of the winged goddess of victory, Nike, depicted as a charioteer holding a laurel wreath.