Basic Instincts

The Foundling Museum, 40 Bloomsbury Square, London

Picture of Basic Instincts

Event location:
The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square
When:Fri 29th Sep 2017 to
Sun 7th Jan 2018
Where:The Foundling Museum, 40 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1N 1AZ
Nearest Station:Russell Square
Map:Map & Nearby
Times:10:00 - 17:00 (Museum closed to public on Monday)
Admission:Free with museum admission

About the event

Curated by Dr Jacqueline Riding, Basic Instincts explores Georgian attitudes to love, desire and female respectability through the radical paintings of Joseph Highmore. A highly successful artist and Governor of London’s Foundling Hospital, Joseph Highmore (1692-1780) is best known as a portrait painter of the Georgian middle class. However, during the 1740s his art radically shifted, reflecting his engagement with the work of the new Foundling Hospital and its mission to support desperate and abused women. Highmore’s involvement with the Hospital sparked engagement with issues around women’s vulnerability to sexual assault and society’s unwillingness to support them, culminating in a work of exceptional power, The Angel of Mercy (c.1746). Basic Instincts is the first major Highmore exhibition for 50 years and explores this decade of disruptive social commentary in his art. Amongst the works on display are four paintings from a series of twelve, inspired by Samuel Richardson’s international bestseller, Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, explicitly making reference to the abuse and sexual violence at the core of the novel. On public display in the UK for the first time as part of Basic Instincts is a remarkable painting that still retains the power to shock. The Angel of Mercy depicts a desperate mother in the act of killing her baby, with the distant Foundling Hospital presented as the alternative. Set among Highmore’s tender portraits of mothers and children, family and friends, this show uniquely demonstrates the artist’s depth and variety.

Official Link: http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk



User Reviews


AIL on Social Media

Facebook logo Twitter logo Google G+ logo Instagram logo

What's New?