Thomas Hudson (1701-1779)

Thomas Hudson (1701-1779) was an English portrait painter. Hudson was born in Devon in 1701. His exact birthplace is unknown. He studied under Jonathan Richardson in London and against his wishes, married Richardson's daughter at some point before 1725. Hudson was most prolific between 1740 and 1760 and, from 1745 until 1755 was the most successful London portraitist. He had many assistants, and employed the specialist drapery painter Joseph Van Aken. Joshua Reynolds, Joseph Wright and the drapery painter Peter Toms were his students. Hudson visited the Low Countries in 1748 and Italy in 1752.  In 1753 he bought a house at Cross Deep, Twickenham, just upstream from Pope's Villa. He retired toward the end of the 1750s. He died at Twickenham in 1779. His extensive private art collection was sold off in three separate sales. Many of Hudson's works may be seen in art galleries throughout the United Kingdom. They include the National Portrait Gallery, the National Maritime Museum, Tate, Barnstaple Guildhall, Foundling Museum and the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery.