Icon Talk: Love, Passion and Violence in the Art of Joseph Highmore

Monday, 27 November, 2017 - 18:30

Jacqueline Riding will speak on Love, Passion and Violence in the Art of Joseph Highmore

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.

Venue: In the Robing Room at Freemason's Hall, 60 Great Queen Street London WC2B 5AZ.
Freemasons Hall is close to both Covent Garden and Holborn Tube Stations.
Doors open at 6pm. Talk 6.30pm – 8.00pm

Tickets: ICON members: £10, non- members: £15. Students £5 (student card required to be shown on the door)
Please note: There is a small booking fee and no refunds can be made up to two days before the event.
Free wine and cheese inc. in price of ticket.

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Please bring your Eventbrite confirmation with you and Please note that due to security people who have not booked through Eventbrite will not be allowed in.