The Shudi Family Group

Image credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Burkat Shudi, one of the leading London harpsichord makers of the eighteenth century, is shown with his wife Catherine and their two young sons, Joshua and Burkat. He is tuning a harpsichord which is said to have been made for Frederick the Great of Prussia. Of Swiss origin, Shudi settled in London in 1718 and founded the firm which later became Broadwoods, makers of pianos. This portrait shows him with his wife Catherine and their two sons: six-year-old Joshua, wearing a blue frock-coat, and Burkat, aged five, still in his baby-clothes. The composition and props in this informal 'conversation piece' indicate the family's taste and prosperity. Probably painted around 1742, this portrait celebrates the family's recent inheritance – the paper Catherine holds is thought to be a copy of her father's will.

National Portrait Gallery, London



The Shudi Family Group




oil on canvas


H 83.4 x W 141.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Purchased with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 1985. On long-term loan to Beningbrough Hall, Yorkshire

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