Maritime Subjects, Portraits: British 18th C, South West England: Artists and Subjects 11 Is this portrait by Thomas Hudson (1701–1779)?

Topic: Artist

Fownes was born and raised in Kingswear, Devon, not far from where Hudson lived and worked early in his career.

The posture and composition are the same as in this portrait by Hudson of Giles Eyre:

The same white silk and gilt brocade waistcoat (as well as a similar jacket) can be seen in Hudson's portraits of Rear Admiral Tyrrell and Admiral John Byng, and may well have been studio props:

Tim Williams, Entry reviewed by Art UK


Jacinto Regalado,

Given the sitter's dates, this picture would be from the 1770s, and Hudson reportedly retired in the latter 1750s.

The Tyrell and Byng portraits show both men in naval uniform, specifically the flag-officer's full dress 1748-67. Luttrell is in civilian dress: the fact it is blue with gold braid is simply a coincidence of civilian and naval style, since the latter - of whatever period - reflects general fashion of the time, not least in its 1748 origin: it might have been red or at least with red waistcoats -which was a pre-uniform naval fashion - except that George II is reputed to have seen the Duchess of Bedford out riding in blue and white so specified blue coats and white waistcoats.

Charles Miller,

the latter two are 1747-pattern full dress regulation uniforms, so one would expect the waistcoats to be the same.. looking at the sitters they were very different shapes so I think a prop is unlikely.

Tim Williams,

I don't remember submitting this, but according to my email I did seven years ago!

I've conflated two different HFLs in my original post. The HFL illustrated here grew up at Dunster Castle, therefore Richard Phelps of Porlock should be looked at.

Jacinto Regalado,

This is a little too provincial and probably too late for Hudson. Richard Phelps (who was a pupil of Hudson) is a highly likely artist here. He painted this sitter's grandmother, mother and sister, and was hired by his father (also named Henry Fownes Luttrell) to update the grounds of Dunster Castle (Phelps was also a landscape designer).

Jacinto Regalado,

I suppose a young man like the sitter might have wanted a more fashionable painter for his portrait than the elderly Phelps, but I expect country gentry were less particular about such things than higher-level aristocrats and/or the very rich.

Definitely not by Thomas Hudson (and I catalogued the Hudson exhibition at Kenwood in 1979). Is the sitter correctly identified? Going by the life dates provided, 1753-77, the portrait would have to have been painted in the mid-1770s, by which date it would have been incredibly old-fashioned, both the costume and the inner oval format. The NT collections website gets the size of the picture which I take it is correctly given on Art UK.

Whaley Turco,

So, Not Thomas Hudson. Agreed. Here are 9 paintings by Phelps. So, Not him either. If our painter had spent as much time on the Flesh as he did on the Clothing we would know who he is by now.

Whaley, I've fixed the broken links in two of your posts.

A polite request to all contributors, please check that links work before before you post and consider using a URL shortener, such as Bitly or TinyURL.

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