Wilson Online Reference
Thomas Jenkins, 1722-1798
Connection to Wilson
Biographical Details
Having studied painting under the portraitist Thomas Hudson, Thomas Jenkins began his career as an artist and painted portraits of several of Wilson's early clients, including William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth and Thomas Brand. He went on to practise as an art dealer, banker and tour-guide for English Grand Tourists visiting Rome. He also acted as an intermediary between British artists in the city and potential patrons such as Thomas Hollis (see P43 Portrait of Thomas Hollis, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Harvard University). In 1753 Jenkins and Wilson were lodging in the same house in or near the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, where they had arrived in late 1751 having travelled from Venice together with William Lock of Norbury (Wilson's chalk portrait of Jenkins dates from this period in Rome: D162 Portrait of Thomas Jenkins, The Pierpont Morgan Library and Museum). By then Jenkins had become Wilson's unofficial agent in Rome, bringing him to the attention of potential patrons and securing commissions from the Earl of Dartmouth, Stephen Beckingham and other important clients through his good offices. Jenkins stayed in Rome until forced to leave by the events of the French Revolution in 1798.

See further: Edwards 1808, pp. 258-59; T. Ashby, 'Thomas Jenkins in Rome', Papers of the British School at Rome, 1913, pp. 487-511
Significant institutions
Caffe degli Inglesi, Rome