William Hodges (1744–1797) travelled to the Pacific as the artist accompanying Cook’s second voyage. A London-born blacksmith’s son, Hodges trained at William Shipley’s drawing school and at fourteen was apprenticed to landscape painter Richard Wilson. The Admiralty appointed Hodges to the Resolution in June 1772, when Joseph Banks – whose proposed entourage included four artists – withdrew from the expedition. Cook was to ensure that Hodges ‘diligently employ himself
in making Drawings or Paintings of such Places as you may touch at … and also of other such Objects and things that may fall within the Compass of his Abilities’. Hodges’s output during the voyage included many landscape views, topographical drawings, coastal profiles and portrait sketches. On his return, Hodges produced a number of dramatic, large-scale oil paintings of places such as Tahiti, New Zealand and Easter Island and supervised engravings made after his sketches for publication in Cook’s official account of the voyage. He also produced the dark portrait of Cook that is now in the Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
Between 1779 and 1784 Hodges was in India, working for the East India Company and the governor-general. In 1793 Hodges staged a solo show at Orme’s Rooms in the Strand, centring on two subversive works depicting the effects of peace and the consequences of war. England was at war with revolutionary France at the time, and the exhibition was shut down after a visit from the Duke of York in 1795. After this, Hodges quit painting and moved with his family to Devon, where he opened a bank. This failed, along with other ventures and he died, possibly by his own hand, in March 1797.
George Dance (1741–1825) studied architecture and draughtsmanship in Rome, returning to his native London on the completion of his grand tour in 1765. In 1768, he succeeded his father as surveyor and clerk of works to the City of London, in which capacity he designed a number of public buildings, such as Newgate Prison (completed in 1784) and St Luke’s Hospital (1782–1789). With his elder brother, the portrait artist Nathaniel Dance (1735–1811), he was one of the founding members of the Royal Academy. He is equally known for the series of over 200 sketches of his friends and contemporaries, created between 1793 and 1810, many of which were translated into etchings by William Daniell (1769– 1837), a landscape artist and engraver known for the publications Oriental Scenery (1795–1808) and A Voyage Around Great Britain (1814–1825).