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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

William Hodges RA, 1808 (dated 1810)

George Dance and William Daniell (engraver)

etching on paper (sheet: 44.0 cm x 31.5 cm, plate-mark: 27.0 cm x 20.1 cm, image: 15.2 cm x 11.8 cm)

William Hodges (1744–1797) travelled to the Pacific as the artist accompanying Cook’s second voyage. A London-born blacksmith’s son, Hodges trained first at William Shipley’s drawing school, and then as an apprentice to the landscape painter and Royal Academician, Richard Wilson. Hodges brought to the Pacific both excellent drawing skills and a neoclassical landscape-painter’s sensibility. He drew portraits of some of the key Pacific Islanders of the late eighteenth century. Hodges also probably introduced Cook to the language of eighteenth-century aesthetics, which the captain found need to use when confronting the sublime vistas of the southern hemisphere. Upon first seeing an Antarctic iceberg, for example, Cook opined uncharacteristically that ‘the whole exhibits a view which can only be described by the pencle of an able painter and at once fills the mind with admiration and horror.’ Hodges became a Royal Academician in 1787. His friend and fellow RA, the architect George Dance, sketched his portrait some time during Hodges’s final years.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2010

Accession number: 2010.57

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

George Dance

William Daniell (age 39 in 1808)

William Hodges

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Captain James Cook, 1837 Nathaniel Dance, William Holl, Fisher, Son & Co London
Captain James Cook, 1837 Nathaniel Dance, William Holl, Fisher, Son & Co London
Captain James Cook, 1837 Nathaniel Dance, William Holl, Fisher, Son & Co London
Captain James Cook, 1837 Nathaniel Dance, William Holl, Fisher, Son & Co London

Rethinking foundational histories

Magazine article by Kate Fullagar, 2019

A focus on Indigenous-European relationships underpins Facing New Worlds. By Kate Fullagar.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.