About this artwork

Flora Macdonald famously helped Prince Charles evade capture in the aftermath of his defeat at Culloden. With the prince disguised as her maid, they left Benbecula for Skye in a small boat just as the militia were closing in. Charles was eventually rescued by a French ship. This portrait enhances MacDonald’s role as protectress, casting her as a shepherdess gesturing at the Prince’s miniature. Her shepherdess’ crook rests gently on her shoulder.

Thomas Hudson

Johannes Faber

Thomas Hudson

Thomas Hudson was born in Devon, and gained renown as a portrait painter, acquiring the patronage of London society during the 1740s and 1750s. He trained under the successful portrait painter Jonathan Richardson, later marrying his daughter. He had many artistic friends including William Hogarth, Allan Ramsay and Francis Hayman. Hudson retained these connections, travelling to France, Holland and Flanders with Hogarth and Hayman in 1748 and to Italy with the sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac in 1752. Having established his own portrait-painting practice, Hudson became increasingly fashionable. As the number of commissions grew, he employed drapery painters to assist him. His many pupils included Joshua Reynolds and Joseph Wright of Derby.

Johannes Faber

John Faber Jr., the son of John Faber, also an engraver, was born in Amsterdam. His family settled in England and he learned drawing and mezzotint engraving from his father before enrolling at the academy in St Martin's Lane founded by Louis Cheron and John Vanderbank. A prolific portraitist, Faber became a well-respected engraver of portraits. Sir Godfrey Kneller and Peter Lely had him make prints after their works. He is best remembered for his forty-seven plates of members of the Kit-Kat Club after Kneller and a series of twelve portraits entitled Beauties of Hampton Court.