Portrait of John Sharp

Thomas Hudson, 1701 - 1779

Portrait of John Sharp

Thomas Hudson 1701 - 1779


Portrait of a seated gentleman, seen in view to the left with his head turned towards the viewer. He has his left arm resting on the corner of a table and his hand with a ring on the little finger draped over the edge; the table, situated in the right bottom corner of the composition, has ornately carved legs and on it are placed books and a black hat; his legs are crossed and held open on his knee is an book. The sitter wears a grey wig and a suit in brown velvet comprising of a frock-coat with large, folded-back and buttoned cuffs with lace ruffles at the wrist, a waistcoat with white lace cravat at the neck, and breeches. Plain, dark background.

Display Label

Gallery text panel Face and Place Portraiture and Landscape in the 18th Century A dramatic growth in Britain's wealth during the 1700s brought about an increased demand for art and design. Hundreds of grand houses were built or improved and many were filled with impressive private collections. The prominent display of paintings and decorative arts demonstrated their owners' status and taste. Portraiture became particularly fashionable, leading to rising numbers of 'face painters' and to an increase in the quality of their work. The ability to capture a likeness was most important but artists could also enhance a sitter's image with qualities such as prestige, wisdom or power. New public exhibitions gave artists a shop window and the Royal Academy, founded in 1768, organised the most important annual show. Amid this developing climate of enthusiasm for art, landscape painting also began its remarkable evolution. Landscape arose from a need to accurately record views and was first thought to be of little artistic merit. But as painters grew in confidence during the later 1700s it was treated with more creativity and seriousness, establishing a distinctive tradition in British art.

Object Name

Portrait of John Sharp

Creators Name

Thomas Hudson

Date Created



Canvas: 124.2cm x 100.7cm
Frame: 146cm x 120.7cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint


Gift of Mr Thomas Thornhill Shann


© Manchester Art Gallery

Fill out my online form.