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George Frideric Handel

13 of 182 portraits by Thomas Hudson

George Frideric Handel, by Thomas Hudson, 1756 - NPG 3970 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

George Frideric Handel

by Thomas Hudson
oil on canvas, 1756
94 in. x 57 1/2 in. (2388 mm x 1461 mm)
Purchased with help from the Handel Appeal Fund and H.M. Government, 1968
Primary Collection
NPG 3970


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Artistback to top

  • Thomas Hudson (1701-1779), Portrait painter and art collector. Artist associated with 182 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The great composer in old age and by now blind, with the score of Messiah. Born in Saxony he settled in London in 1712 where for nearly fifty years he poured out opera, oratorios, concertos and occasional music. Messiah, first performed in Dublin in 1742, became a national institution within his lifetime. Painted for Handel's friend, Charles Jennens, who selected the words for Messiah (the score pictured beside him). The magnificent rococo frame with trophies of musical instruments and scores at top and bottom is original and may have been the work of Joseph Duffour, a leading carver and gilder of French origin. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).

Related worksback to top

  • NPG D35305: George Frideric Handel (source portrait)

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