Francis Hayman

Samuel Richardson, the Novelist (1684-1761), Seated, Surrounded by his Second Family

1740–1

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 995 x 1252 mm
frame: 1190 x 1442 x 80 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund (with a contribution from the Wolfson Foundation) and Tate Members 2006
Reference
T12221

Display caption

Samuel Richardson was one of the earliest practitioners of the novel. He came to public attention with Pamela: or, Virtue rewarded 1740, which tells the story of a virtuous young maidservant and the lustful attentions of her master whom she constantly rebuffs, then reforms and finally marries. Painted scenes from the book can be seen nearby. Richardson’s novel was one of many that were to emerge in the 18th century by authors such as Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift and Henry Fielding.

Gallery label, February 2016

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