Hudson often featured sitters in “Van Dyck dress”—a historical, elegant costume for parties, as well as masquerade elements, as wealthy patrons wanted to be portrayed in their party finest. A similar mask appears in Hudson’s Portrait of Sir James Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale sold at Sotheby’s London 5 December 2013 (fig. 1). The landscape with cypress trees viewed through the window behind the present sitter also evokes Italy, hinting at the gentleman’s worldly knowledge and means.
The gentleman’s dramatic pose and elegant attire demonstrate Hudson’s familiarity with fashionable portraiture in both England and Italy in the mid-18th century, which contributed to his success in the genre.
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