N04688 THOMAS LAW HODGES ?exh. 1795
Inscribed ‘Thos. Law Hodges/Ætat:suae 18/Painted by Sir Wilm Beechey’ in old hand on stretcher
Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 × 25 3/16 (76.5 × 64.0)
Bequeathed by Sir Edward Stern to the National Gallery, with life interest to his widow, 1933. Transferred to the Tate Gallery 1979
Prov: ...; Agnew's; with donor by 1902.
Exh: ?R.A. 1795 (214); Burlington Fine Arts Club 1902 (52); Spring Exhibition, Whitechapel Gallery, 1907 (78), inexplicably ascribed to J.L. David.
Lit: W. Roberts, Sir William Beechey R.A., 1907, p.48; Martin Davies, National Gallery Catalogues, The British School, 1946, p.8.
Thomas Hodges (1776–1857) of Hemsted Place, Cranbrook, Kent, was for many years M.P. for that country. His age of 18 would date the picture to 1794, so that it is probably that the ‘Mr Hodges’ which Beechey exhibited at the R.A. in 1795 was this picture. (Roberts, op. cit., suggests that the R.A. picture may have been a portrait of William Hodges the painter, but there is no record that Beechey ever painted him). Its good condition, strong likeness and vigorous rendering of youthful vitality makes this one of Beechey's best male portraits.
The Tate Gallery 1978-80: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1981