Jacqueline’s Riding Talk
Basic Instincts: Love, Passion and Violence in the Art of Joseph Highmore
To: Monday 27.11.17
The Robing Room at Freemasons' Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London
Icon members: £10
Non-Icon members: £15
To book your place, visit Eventbrite.
Joseph Highmore (1692-1780) is best known as a portrait painter of the Georgian middle classes. In his paintings he explored controversial issues around the status and care of women and children - from the trauma of sexual assault to the terror of public disgrace. Dr Jacqueline Riding will be exploring these themes and more in her talk "Basic Instincts: Love, Passion and Violence in the Art of Joseph Highmore", happening Monday 27 November, from 18:00 in The Robing Room at Freemasons' Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London.
Ticket includes free wine and cheese.
Joseph Highmore (1692-1780) is best known as a portrait painter of the Georgian middle class. He attended Sir Godfrey Kneller's Academy in Great Queen Street, while developing his portrait practice (from 1715) in The City of London. In 1724 he moved to Lincoln's Inn Fields where he remained until his retirement in 1762.
Having established himself as a leading portrait painter, during the 1740s Highmore's focus shifted to include history and subject painting. Through his canvasses inspired by Samuel Richardson's bestselling novels, Pamela and Clarissa and his gift to the Foundling Hospital (of which he was a governor), Hagar and Ishmael, Highmore explored controversial issues around the status and care of women and children, including the circumstances – from the trauma of sexual assault to the terror of public disgrace – in which parents, particularly unmarried mothers, could be driven to abandon, or even murder, their new-born infants. This culminated in The Angel of Mercy, one of the most controversial images in eighteenth-century British art and the centrepiece of the Foundling Museum's current exhibition Basic Instincts (29 September 2017 - 7 January 2018).
Dr Jacqueline Riding specialises in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British history and art. The subject of her doctoral thesis (York 2012) was the British painter Joseph Highmore. She has over twenty-five years’ experience working as a curator and consultant within a broad range of museums, galleries and historic buildings, including Tate Britain, Historic Royal Palaces and The National Trust for Scotland. From 1993-1999 she was Assistant Curator of the Palace of Westminster, and then founding Director of the Handel House Museum, London. She was the consultant historian and art historian on Mike Leigh's award-winning Mr. Turner (2014) and is the historian on his next feature film, Peterloo. Her recent publications include Jacobites: A New History of the '45 Rebellion (Bloomsbury Publishing 2016) and Basic Instincts: Love, Passion and Violence in the Art of Joseph Highmore(Paul Holberton Publishing 2017) which accompanies her exhibition at the Foundling Museum. She is currently writing a book on the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, which will be followed by a major new biography of William Hogarth. Jacqueline is an Honorary Research Fellow in the History of Art Department, Birkbeck College.