4 of 26 portraits of Matthew Prior
- Extended Catalogue Entry
by Thomas Hudson, after Jonathan Richardson
oil on canvas, before 1779, based on a work of 1718
40 1/4 in. x 34 3/8 in. (1022 mm x 872 mm)
Transferred from British Museum, 1879
Sitterback to top
- Matthew Prior (1664-1721), Poet, Ambassador to France and politician; MP for East Grinstead and Chief Secretary for Ireland. Sitter associated with 26 portraits.
Artistsback to top
This portraitback to top
Painted for Lord Harley, one of Prior's main patrons, Richardson's animated composition shows the poet at the point of inspiration. This copy, by Richardson's pupil Thomas Hudson, is one of many painted for Prior's admirers.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Ingamells, John, Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, 2009, p. 228
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 104
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 120
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 506
Events of 1718back to top
Current affairsCharles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland becomes first Lord of the Treasury, the most influential political post in Britain at this time.
Transportation Act creates the punishment of penal transportation as an alternative to the death penalty.
Marrow Controversy; an ecclesiastical dispute breaks out in Scotland over the doctrine of atonement.
Art and scienceProper motion of the stars is discovered by Astronomer Royal Edmond Halley.
Inventor James Puckle patents an early form of machine gun known as the Puckle Gun.
InternationalCharles XII of Sweden dies in mysterious circumstances and is succeeded by his sister Ulrika Eleonora.
Quadruple Alliance formed as the Holy Roman Empire joins the Triple Alliance to prevent the Spanish changing the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht. War of the Quadruple Alliance begins against Spain until 1720. George Byng, 1st Viscount Torrington is made Admiral of the Fleet and thwarts Spanish attempts to take Sicily at the Battle of Cape Passaro.
Develop your art skills
Discover our BP Next Generation short films made by artists. Follow step by step guides in drawing and painting techniques.
Hold Still photography workshop
Reflect on your own experiences of lockdown through this easy-to-do from home, photographic exercise.
Draw Like a Renaissance Master
Revisit The Encounter exhibition and learn about Renaissance and Baroque drawing methods and materials.
Tell us more
Framed & unframed prints
Choose your favourite portrait from our Collection as a framed or unframed print for your home.