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King George II

3 of 58 portraits of King George II

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

King George II

by Thomas Hudson
1744
86 1/8 in. x 57 3/4 in. (2188 mm x 1467 mm)
NPG 670

Inscriptionback to top

An inscription in gold, on the dais, bottom left: THO: HUDSON. PINXIT.

This portraitback to top

NPG 670, as confirmed by its provenance, is the portrait commissioned from Hudson by Lord Chief Justice Willes and noted by Vertue, February 1744: ‘a picture at whole length of the King put up in the Court of Common pleas - at the expense of Ld. Ch Justice Wills. is thought very like & a good picture. altho. His Majesty did not honour him to set purposely for it -'. [1] Another version, signed and inscribed, is at Goodwood.

Footnotesback to top

1) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, III, p 121.

Physical descriptionback to top

Light brown eyebrows, blue eyes with marked pouches, protruding bottom lip, long grey wig reaching to Garter collar; white lace cravat and ruffles, blue ermine robes of state, white hose, grey shoes with diamond buckles; seated on a throne surmounted with the royal cipher, his right foot on a small stool; ornate marble-topped table, left, with crown and orb; drapery of deep scarlet drawn back to frame the throne which is on a dais covered in matching carpet; lit from the left.

Conservationback to top

Paint somewhat flattened in relining; surface cleaned, lined and varnished between 1883 and 1898; cleaned 1970.

Provenanceback to top

Given 1883, by HM Office of Works, following demolition of the Law Courts at Westminster.

Reproductionsback to top

Engraved by J. Faber junior, 1745 (J. Chaloner Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits, 1878-83, 158), lettered: From the Original in the New Treasury by the Court of Common Pleas at Westminster, put up there by Order of the Lord Chief Justice Willes; And the rest of the Judges of that Court in 1744 ...


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

View all known portraits for King George II