Joseph Tudor, Landscape Painter

(d. 1759)

Landscape Painter

From A Dictionary of Irish Artists 1913

An artist of the first half of the eighteenth century who lived in Dame Street, opposite Fownes Street, and was the principal landscape painter of that period in Dublin.* Several of his landscapes and views were engraved by John Brooks in Dublin; and his six Views of Dublin, by which he is chiefly remembered, were engraved and published in London. The Dublin Society awarded him premiums for landscape painting in 1740, 1742, 1743 and 1746, in the latter year for "a fine picture" which was praised in fourteen lines of verse in "Faulkner's Journal" for 14th-18th May. In 1749 he did a "Perspective View of the Illuminations and Fireworks at St. Stephen's Green on Thanksgiving Day for the General Peace concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748." This was engraved by Thomas Chambars. Tudor also worked for Smock Alley theatre, painting, in January, 1739, the scenery for "The Harlot's Progress," and in February, 1748, that for Woodward's "Fairy Friendship, or the Triumphs of Hibernia." On the occasion of the King's birthday celebrations in November, 1753, the Castle was "decorated and illuminated in the most grand and superb manner," and "pieces of machinery and paintings designed and painted by the celebrated Mr. Tudor were exhibited." "Faulkner's Journal" gives a long description of these decorations, and particularly praises "the extraordinary, magnificent and elegant decorations of the Supper-room . . . designed and executed by that ingenious artist and celebrated painter, Mr. Tudor." The room was "adorned in imitation of an Egyptian Saloon . . . at the far end the Temple of Comus finished in a most delightful manner . . . Round three sides of the Temple ran an arcade of azure pillars, gilt, in imitation of lapis lazuli, an exquisite enchantment."

Tudor was also employed by Dr. Mosse in the decorations in the Rotunda Gardens in 1757. He painted a picture of "Charity," probably a transparency, and did the painted decorations of the orchestra for which he was paid one hundred and forty pounds. He was admitted to the freedom of the Guild of St. Luke in 1755. He died in his house in Dame Street, on the 24th March, 1759.

The landscapes and views painted by Joseph Tudor include the following:

The Bay of Dublin and Shipping, with View of the North Wall House. Oil picture; belonged to Dr. Thomas Willis, and was in his sale in November, 1870; afterwards to Alfred Webb. [National Gallery of Ireland.]

A Heavenly Vision; an altar-piece painted in 1751 for Waterford Cathedral.

Perspective View of the Illuminations and Fireworks at St. Stephen's Green on Thanksgiving Day, for the General Peace concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle, 1748. Engraved by T. Chambars and published in Dublin in March, 1749, at 1s. 1d. Size, 22 by 13 ¾ inches. Three reduced copies of this print appeared: 1st, 8 ¼ by 10 inches. Engraved for the Universal Magazine, 1749, for J. Hinton at ye King's Anns in St. Paul's Church-yard, London; 2nd, 3 by 7 ½ inches; appeared in the "Gentleman's Magazine" for 1749, accompanied by a full description of the Fireworks; 3rd, 7 by 17 inches, in "Exshaw's London Magazine," 1749.

A North Prospect of Blessington. Engraved by John Brooks in 1745.

View of Leixlip and the Waterfall. Engraved by John Brooks in 1745.

Obelisk in memory of the Battle of the Boyne. Engraved by John Brooks in 1746.

Six Views of Dublin; drawings. Engraved and published in London, viz.:

1. Dublin, from the Magazine Hill. Engraved by T. Mason. This view was copied, with alterations, for various publications: (1) 7 ¾ by 10 ¾ inches; engraved by Slack. (2) 8 ½ by 12 inches; engraved by Cary for Miller's "New, Complete and Universal System of Geography." (3) 7 ½ by 11 ½ inches; engraved for Banke's "New and Complete System of Geography," and for Middleton's "Geography." (4) Hulett fecit, in "New Geographical Dictionary." There are also several other smaller plates.

2. The Barracks. Engraved by A. Walker.

3. Dublin Castle. Engraved by Parr.

4. The Custom House and Essex Bridge. Engraved anonymously.

5. The Parliament House. Engraved anonymously.

6. The Library, Trinity College. Engraved anonymously. These prints were first issued by James McArdell—who may, indeed, have engraved the three anonymous plates—from the Golden Head in Covent Garden. They were afterwards published by others: the "Gentleman's Magazine" for May, 1753, announces "six perspective Views of Dublin, one shilling each," as published by Jeffreys; and in the same year they were also published by Robert Sayer at the Golden Buck, Fleet Street. It is probable that the plates passed from McArdell to Sayer. Lawrie and Whittle also appear, in some states, as publishers. The prints bear inscriptions in French and English, and states with inscriptions in German have been met with. Some variations in the figures and details were made after McArdell's first issue of the prints.

In 1746 a MISS JENNY TUDOR, then under 15 years of age, obtained a premium of five pounds from the Dublin Society for her drawings after Raphael and Titian. A "MISS TUDOR," of Kevin Street, exhibited some drawings at the Society of Artists in William Street in 1768.


* Perhaps the "Joseph, son of Thomas Tudor," who was baptized on 22nd September, 1695, at St. Nicholas Within.

In its issue of 20th November, 1753, "Faulkner's Journal" says "that through misinformation it was represented in the pages of last Saturday that the decorations exhibited at His Majesty's Castle on the Birth Night had been designed by Mr. Joseph Tudor, since which he [the Editor] hath been informed that Mr. Tudor only executed the Design given to him from the office to which the ordering and conducting that affair belonged."

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