HUDSON, Thomas
(b. 1701, Devonshire, 1779, Twickenham)


English painter and collector. He was one of the foremost portrait painters in England in the mid-18th century. His work combines the high-keyed colours of the Rococo with poses derived from such artists as van Dyck, Kneller and his own teacher and father-in-law, Jonathan Richardson. He painted at least 400 portraits, about 80 of which were engraved. Among his many pupils were Joseph Wright of Derby, John Hamilton Mortimer and Joshua Reynolds. Hudson was a member of the group of artists including Hogarth, Allan Ramsay, Francis Hayman and the sculptor John Michael Rysbrack who met at Old Slaughter's Coffee House in the mid-1740s and who promoted Thomas Coram's Foundling Hospital, of which they were governors, as the first public exhibiting space for artists in London.

From the mid 1740s to the mid 1550s he was the leading fashionable portraitist in London, rivalled only by Ramsay. He went into semi-retirement in the late 1750s, when his former pupil Reynolds was rapidly rising in success.