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Thomas Herring

8 of 182 portraits by Thomas Hudson

Thomas Herring, attributed to Thomas Hudson, circa 1748 - NPG 4895 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Thomas Herring

attributed to Thomas Hudson
oil on canvas, circa 1748
43 1/4 in. x 36 1/4 in. (1099 mm x 921 mm)
Purchased, 1972
Primary Collection
NPG 4895


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Sitterback to top

  • Thomas Herring (1693-1757), Archbishop of Canterbury. Sitter in 7 portraits.

Artistback to top

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

This portraitback to top

This portrait in bishop's robes is very near the design engraved by John Faber after Hudson in 1751, but in the latter there is a letter in his hand, his gown is differently arranged and the chair is different; the handling is, however, close enough to warrant an attribution. Sittings are mentioned in a letter from Herring to his friend, William Duncombe, on 18 May 1748, 'Pray see my picture at Hudson's. If you like it, I will order a copy, and sit once or twice, but, I protest, I am tired of that work'. This is after Herring became Archbishop of Canterbury, so the inscription on the portrait as Archbishop of York may be retrospective. 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).

Linked publicationsback to top

Subjects & Themesback to top

Events of 1748back to top

Current affairs

In his role as magistrate, Henry Fielding organises the forerunner of the Bow Street Runners, effectively London's first police force. Fire in the City of London causes over a million pounds worth of damage.

Art and science

Tobias Smollett publishes The Adventures of Roderick Random. Samuel Richardson publishes Clarissa; the longest novel in the English language. Philosopher David Hume publishes An Enquiry concerning Human Understanding. Physician John Fothergill's pamphlet Account of the Sore Throat attended with Ulcers contains the first description of diphtheria.

International

Ancient Roman city of Pompeii is rediscovered near Naples, further fuelling a resurgence of interest in the antique among British collectors such as the diplomat Sir William Hamilton. Treaty of Aix-La-Chapelle ends the War of the Austrian Succession. French writer Montesquieu anonymously publishes his influential treatise on political theory L'Esprit des Lois (The Spirit of the Laws).

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