Reynolds, London and the Hudson connection

Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives

Laurie Thorne continues to look at Reynolds’ early life. Previously we learned that Reynolds’ wish was to train with a renowned artist, and Lawrie now looks at Reynolds’ life after he moves to London.

In October 1740 aged 17 years he arrived in London to begin a four year training in the studio of the Devon-born portrait painter Thomas Hudson. Hudson was based in London, with a West Country practice. In the West Country his work included painting a succession of Mayors of Barnstaple as well as the councillors and council officials. The below works are attributed to Hudson and are currently on display in our ‘In the Frame‘ exhibition.

In London his house and studio was located in Holborn Row, standing on the northern side of Lincoln’s Inn Fields. This was an area long recognised as a centre of portraiture. Hudson occupied the premises of his own…

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4 thoughts on “Reynolds, London and the Hudson connection”

  1. We regularly use the Reynolds Collection of paintings in the City Museum and Art Gallery in Plymouth so these extra points of information are very useful. Thank you. We use the picture of Frances for work on docent training in French with a group of 20 students each year. The work of Frances, her writing and her life always captures the interest of undergraduates. Do you have any more on her, please?

    1. Hi Dr Mansfield. Thanks for your comments! It’s always great to hear that our collections are of educational use. I have spoken to our Curator of Fine Art, and unfortunately the sources within the Reynolds posts are tough to get hold of as they are antique books. She recalls reading that Reynolds said of Frances’s paintings; ‘her paintings make others laugh and me cry’, she called him ‘a gloomy tyrant’! As a result of our HLF project our wonderful research volunteer Nicci produced some work on the Reynolds family. I will attach a pdf onto her post which I hope helps.

      1. Hi, we are next in with our degree students at 10am Thursday 8th October 2015 to do some docent training around the Reynolds paintings.
        Denise and I have developed a Web 2.0 system for sharing live museum labels in our Knowledge Lab at the university. We plan to give it a trial run.

        Best wishes
        Dr Charlie Mansfield

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