Early 19th-Century English School

Portrait Of Maria Hudson

Early 19th-Century English School

Portrait Of Maria Hudson

This beautiful early 19th-century oil painting depicts Maria Hudson (1810-1871), daughter of Thomas Sanderson (1775-1836), a merchant, and Lydia Sanderson (nee Smith) (1778-1811). Her father died in 1836, which could explain the mourning wear.

During the late 1830s, dresses were ostentatious, noticeably fussy, and remarkably puffy. Sleeves, as we see here, were referred to as ‘leg-of-mutton’ and enlarged at the elbow. While waists, in contrast, were tucked in and corseted. Ladies were considered as demure creatures, almost doll-like in appearance, elegant, and floral.

Yet beyond the facade, if you look into Maria’s eyes, you’ll notice a steely quality. There’s determination and she’s far from submissive, despite the wishes of her patriarchal decade.

Maria was born in Sheffield on the 5th of August 1810 and married Edward Hudson, a merchant, in 1830. As far as we can tell from her ancestry records, she remained in Sheffield for most of her life and raised at least one child. She had an older sister, Ann, who married Henry Furniss, the grandfather of Henry Sanderson Furniss, 1st Baron Sanderson.

Held within a later frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 26” x 31” / 66cm x 79cm
Year of creation: c. 1838
Labels & Inscriptions: Label on reverse with sitter’s details.
Provenance: Property of a lady, London, England.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Fine craquelure but the paint is stable. Frame with some light wear.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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