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William Hodges

1744 – 1797

William Hodges (1744-1797) trained from an early age at William Shipley's drawing school at Castle Court in the Strand, and was afterward apprenticed to a landscape painter. Having probably worked as a theatrical scene painter, he was appointed draughtsman to Cook's second voyage in 1772. He produced a number of large-scale oil paintings commemorating the voyage, and supervised engravings after sketches made on board. He also produced the dark portrait of Cook that is now in the Maritime Museum, London. After finishing with the Pacific, between 1780 and 1784 Hodges worked as a landscape painter in India, working for the East India Company and the Governor-General. His Travels in India was published in 1793; he also produced a treatise on Indian architecture and a series of Select Views in India. After briefly visiting the court of Catherine the Great in 1793, Hodges staged a solo show at Orme's Rooms in the Strand, centring on two subversive works depicting the effects of peace and the consequences of war. England was at war with revolutionary France at the time, and the exhibition was shut down after a visit from the Duke of York in 1795.

Updated 2018