Francis HaymanSamuel Richardson, the Novelist (1684-1761), Seated, Surrounded by his Second Family 1740-1

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Francis Hayman (1708‑1776)
Samuel Richardson, the Novelist (1684-1761), Seated, Surrounded by his Second Family
Date 1740-1
MediumOil paint on canvas
Dimensionssupport: 995 x 1252 mm frame: 1190 x 1442 x 80 mm
Acquisition Purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and Tate Members 2006
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1730

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This family portrait was probably painted to celebrate Richardson’s novel, Pamela (or Virtue Rewarded). Published in 1740, Pamela was a series of letters charting the trials and tribulations of a maid defending her virtue from the advances of her employer. It brought Richardson overnight success and went through five editions in its first year.Richardson is seated here with his second family and a friend, after his tragic first marriage had ended with the deaths of his wife and six children. It is among Hayman’s finest works; exemplifying the informal group portrait which influenced many artists, including Thomas Gainsborough.

May 2007

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