Manchester Art Gallery

Admiral Lord Hood

Object description

A portrait of a naval officer, dressed in a blue jacket with white lapels and gold braid, white trousers and waistcoat, and a high white cravat – the uniform of a Rear-Admiral of the Blue. He is a mature gentleman with white hair curled over his ears, and a pink face. He stands with one arm resting on a tall rock to the right, a letter held in his right hand, looking over his shoulder to the left. In the background, to the left, a sea battle is taking place, with ships firing at each other, beneath a dark sky.

Display label

Admiral Lord Hood about 1783 Sir Joshua Reynolds 1723-1792 Oil on canvas Hood wears the uniform of a Rear Admiral, which he was awarded in 1780. In the background his fleet repels French forces off the coast of Dominica during the American Wars. Following this successful military action of 1782, Hood was awarded the Freedom of the City of London. The document in his right hand may allude to this. The sitter is raised beyond a mere likeness by his heroic stance, a dramatic sky and the sea-battle. Reynolds pioneered this new seriousness in portraiture by marrying the genre to Grand-Style principles. Purchased 1898.3