John Tudgay (fl.1836-1865)


The prestigious tudgay family of marine artists produced an impressive body of ship portraiture, working often in collaboration with one and another while taking singular commissions as well. Works exists in public and private collections which are signed I. Tudgay, L. Tudgay, J.& L. Tudgay, J. & F. Tudgay, and F. Tudgay. Whereas I., L. & J. are believed to have been brothers (or possibly John and the earlier signed ‘I' are one and the same), Frederick is known to have been the youngest, born in 1841. Their common talent for portraying detail and draftsman-like technique drew the attention of the English maritime community and many Americans who arrived in her ports.

Frederick Tudgay worked as a painter of ship interiors for the Green shipyard in Blackwall, giving him access to study first hand ship design and construction techniques. Besides his noted accuracy, his works are appealing for the strong artistic merit seen in his treatment of sea, sky and background elements.

Working in London during the last half of the 19th century, the Tudgays painted almost exclusively on direct commission from owners and captains, producing accurate ship portraits known for their fidelity to vessel design. Today, their works are considered important examples of British marine painting, enthusiastically sought after by knowledgeable collectors the world over.

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