William Hodges views of India
We are excited to have acquired a collection of views of India and Indian architecture by William Hodges.
Hodges (1744-97), the artist of Captain's Cook's 2nd Voyage, was commissioned by the East India Company to travel to India. In 1780 he arrived and met Warren Hastings, Britain's first Governor General of India, who sponsored him to record a series of views from 1780-1783. On his return to London, Hodges produced aquatint engravings printed in sepia of his watercolours. These he published in sets of four as 'Select Views in India taken on the spot by William Hodges'. They were published in London 1785-88.
On his return from India, Hodges received widespread recognition as an important landscape painter and was elected a member of the prestigious Royal Academy in 1789. Sir Joshna Reynolds (1723-92), the first President of the Royal Academy, described Hodges in 1786 as "a very intelligent and indigenous artist (who) produced, I think, the best landscapes in the last exhibition, which were taken from drawings which he made in the East Indies."
Hodges originally published 48 views in total and we have a collection of 24 of these views for sale individually. The series are regarded as the first English views of India taken by a professional artist and were made at a time when interest in exploration and travel was at a peak.
Hodges works have recently in 2004 been the subject of an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich (see http://www.nmm.ac.uk/upload/package/30/home.php) who produced a catalogue entitled 'William Hodges 1744-97, The Art of Exploration' ed. by Geoff Quigley and John Bonehill. His views in India have been the subject of a book by Giles Tillotson entitled 'The Artificial Empire, The Indian Landscapes of William Hodges', Curzon 2000.
We also have a fine engraved portrait of William Hodges, engraved by William Daniell (also famous for his views of India), after the painting by George Dance RA.
Many of the aquatints have their original letterpress descriptions and are all sold mounted with conservation museum board and backing.