HODGETTS, Thomas (active 1801-1846) after James GRAHAM (GILBERT) (1794-1866)
Joseph Hume, Esq. M.P
London: Published by Mr. Graham, 63 Upper Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, June 1, 1823. Mezzotint on chine colle laid on thick wove paper. State ii or iii/iii with 'proof' added to the engraved insciption: "Painted by J. Graham. *** Engraved by T. Hodgetts./ Joseph Hume, Esq.r M.P./ *** *** Proof/ London. Published June 1. 1823, by Mr. Graham, 63 Upper Charlotte Str. Fitzroy Sq." In excellent condition apart from some light foxing in the margins outside the platemark. Image size: 17 3/4 x 13 13/16 inches. Sheet size: 25 1/4 x 19 7/16 inches. Plate mark: 21 15/16 x 16 7/8 inches.
A wonderfully robust portrait of Joseph Hume, the radical political reformer.
Joseph Hume (1777 - 1855) began his career at 20 as a surgeon for the Dutch East India Company in India. He returned to Europe in 1808 with a fortune. He wrote a prose translation of Dante's Inferno. Then he began a political career, buying a place in parliament and rapidly moving on to become one of the leading radicals in parliament, though a fiscal conservative. Hume was a leader on almost all the reform issues of the day. He fought for repeal of the Combination Acts (laws against labor unions) and for Catholic emancipation, financial retrenchment, parliamentary reform, freedom of the press, free trade, colonial self-government, and disestablishment of the Church of Ireland. Hume tirelessly fought for the rights of the under-served, and through his passion and diligence brought about many changes in British policy. (DNB)
Hodgetts' beautiful mezzotint portrait shows the reformer in the classic parliamentarian pose of command, looking to the future, ready for an adversity, with a hand on recent legislation.
O'Donoghue, Catalogue of Engraved British Portraits... in the British Museum 1; Burgess, Portraits in the Wellcome Institute 1456/5; Lennox-Boyd & Stogdon, state not described.