Wilson Online Reference
William Hodges, 1744-1797
Connection to Wilson
Biographical Details
William Hodges was apprenticed to Richard Wilson from 1758 to 1765. He published a biographical essay on Wilson in 1790 [Hodges 1790] and throughout his career drew inspiration from his work. Of all Wilson's pupils, Hodges's painting style and techniques were closest to his master's. On leaving Wilson's studio Hodges worked in Derby and in London, before sailing with Captain James Cook on his second expedition to the Pacific in 1772. Returning to London in 1775, he concentrated on compositions relating to his Pacific trip. He left for India in 1779, where he worked under the patronage of Warren Hastings for six years.

'Hodges was the son of a man who kept an old iron shop in Peter-street, Wardour-street. He was hired by Shipley, the drawing-master in the Strand, as his errand-boy; and being a smart lad and remarkably civil, the students lent him their drawings to copy during his leisure hours. Richard Wilson afterwards received him as a pupil; and under his instruction his improvement was so rapid, that his productions were much admired by his master's visitors. [Smith 1828, pp. 141-142].