Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich

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Admiral Alexander Hood, 1726-1814, 1st Viscount Bridport

Fine art

Object connections:

Collection Fine art, Oil paintings, Maritime Art Greenwich
Gallery locationNot on display
PeopleDepiction: Hood, Alexander

Object details:

Object ID BHC2571
Description A three-quarter-length portrait facing left, wearing an admiral's undress uniform of 1787-95, and the sash and star of a Knight Companion of the Order of the Bath. Admiral Hood was third in command at the Battle of the Glorious First of June 1794. On 23 June 1795, while commanding the Channel Fleet, he fought a partial action with the French fleet off the Ile de Groix, capturing three of their ships. This event is represented in the background of the portrait, as pointed out by Hood’s outstretched right hand. Versions of this portrait also exist in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, and the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Abbott’s preliminary oil sketch is BHC2572. The artist had established his first studio in London around 1780. He painted relatively few women and seems to have specialised in male portraiture, finding particular favour among naval officers. Standing unsuccessfully for election as an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1788 and again in 1798, Abbott failed to gain admission to the inner circles of the artistic establishment but he was recognised for his remarkable skill in capturing likenesses. In his ‘Anecdotes of Painting’ (1808), Edward Edwards wrote that ‘the heads of [Abbott’s] male portraits were perfect in their likenesses, particularly those which he painted from the naval heroes of the present time.’ Suffering from mental illness, Abbott was certified insane in July 1798 and died in what was described by the diarist Joseph Farington as ‘a state of insanity’ in 1803. (Updated April 2019.)
Date made 1795

Artist/Maker Abbott, Lemuel Francis
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Caird Fund
Materials oil on canvas
Measurements Painting: 1270 mm x 1016 mm; Frame: 1455 mm x 1217 mm x 95 mm
  • Admiral Alexander Hood, 1726-1814, 1st Viscount Bridport (BHC2571)
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