Upcoming Events

Patrons and Painters: Portraits by Joshua Reynolds and James Northcote at Trewithen, Cornwall


  • 7 March 2018
  • 6:00 – 8:00 pm
  • by Martin Postle
  • Lecture Room, Paul Mellon Centre

Black and white photograph of painting showing a man with large fluffy white hair sat holding chin Among the pictures in the collection at Trewithen, Cornwall, are two portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds and four by his pupil James Northcote. The portraits feature for the most part members of the Mudge family and were painted in Plymouth; the home of the Mudges and the birthplace of both Reynolds and Northcote. The group comprises a portrait of the cleric, Zachariah Mudge, and his wife, Kitty, by Joshua Reynolds; portraits by Northcote of the philosopher, William Ferguson, and Thomas Mudge, as well as Northcote’s self portrait and his copy of Reynolds’s portrait of John Mudge. These portraits remain virtually unknown beyond the confines of Trewithen and those acquainted with the house and its collection. Nor have they been subjected to any significant research in the modern period. The intention in this talk is to explain the context for their creation and the light they shed on an important source of local patronage, which had a profound impact on the careers of Reynolds and his pupil James Northcote.