"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Thursday, May 5, 2016

William Shirley

This 1750 portrait of William Shirley by Thomas Hudson hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.
"Appointed colonial governor of Massachusetts in 1741, William Shirley spent much of the next fifteen years in military and diplomatic engagements with the French. After war broke out between England and France in 1744, Shirley won an important victory by orchestrating a successful attack on the French stronghold at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. This portrait by distinguished English painter Thomas Hudson -- with a background that recalls this famous naval conquest was painted in London while Shirley was participating in boundary negotiations with the French following the war's end in 1748. In 1755, at the outset of the French and Indian War, King George II promoted Shirley to commander of British forces in North America. He lost this position and his governorship a year later, however, after failing to halt French advances." -- National Portrait Gallery


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