- Thomas Hudson, English, 1701-1779
The Radcliffe Family, about 1742
Oil paint on canvas
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2019.7
This painting shows the family of Walter Radcliffe (1693-1752) and his wife Admonition. In 1741 they bought a splendid estate, Warleigh House near Plymouth, Devon, in southwest England. The Radcliffe Family, painted by Devon artist Thomas Hudson, was probably commissioned to celebrate the purchase. It is one of Hudson’s largest paintings and recalls in size and format the aristocratic family portraits of the previous century. But unlike the formality and decorum of those pictures, here the figures are represented informally, interacting affectionately, their closeness suggested by casual gestures.