Joseph Highmore A Family Group of Five Persons, Knee-length date not known

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Artwork details

Artist
Joseph Highmore 1692–1780
Title
A Family Group of Five Persons, Knee-length
Date Date not known
Medium Graphite on paper
Dimensions Support: 112 x 136 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Mrs Joan Highmore Blackhall and Dr R.B. McConnell 1986
Reference
T04182
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Catalogue entry

[from] Works on Paper and Vellum [T04173-T04237 and T04318-T04319]

Various media and sizes
Presented by Mrs Joan Highmore Blackhall and Dr Rosemary B. McConnell 1986
Prov: By descent from the artist to the donors
Lit: C.R. Beard, ‘Highmore's Scrap-Book’, Connoisseur, vol.93, 1934, pp.290–7, ‘Highmore's Drawings for Pine's Processions and Ceremonies’, Connoisseur, vol.94, 1934, pp.9–15; Alison S. Lewis, Joseph Highmore 1692–1780, PhD thesis, Harvard 1975 (University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor 1980), I, pp.230–1, II, pp.650–6, 659, III, figs.263–77, 279; E. Einberg and J. Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675–1709, Tate Gallery Collections, 11, 1988, pp.64–71, all but last six repr.; Warren Mild, Joseph Highmore of Holborn Row, Ardmore 1990

All sheets have been irregularly cut; maximum dimensions only are given. All inscriptions, unless otherwise stated, are in pen and ink, and are thought to have been written by the artist's grandson Anthony Highmore (1758–1829).

The Highmore Gift, of which this is a part, is a collection of sketches, drawings, watercolours, engravings and some family papers which descended from the artist through the late Sir Anthony Highmore King, CBE, to the donors. The papers concern mostly nineteenth-century members of the family, but include Joseph Highmore's Paris Journal of 1734, published by Elizabeth Johnston, Walpole Society, vol.42, 1970, pp.61–104. The following items have been removed for conservation reasons from a scrap-book into which they had been pasted, in no particular order, by Sir Anthony Highmore King's grandmother Anna King, together with works by Susanna Duncombe (née Highmore) and later members of the family, as well as photographs, tracings and other fragments now in the Tate Gallery Archive. Nineteen drawings by Joseph Highmore for John Pine's twenty-plate set of engravings depicting the revival of the Order of the Bath, published in 1730, were sold from the King collection to Lord Fairhaven sometime after 1934 and are on loan to the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

T04182 A Family Group of Five Persons, Three-quarter-length c.1740–50

Pencil on paper 111 × 134 (4 3/8 × 5 1/4)
Inscribed ‘J H’ b.r., and in the ruled margins ‘ 3–6 ’ left centre and ‘ 4–8 ’ top centre, all in pencil
Lit: Beard 1934, vol.93, p.291, fig.III; Lewis 1975, II, p.654, no.43

This sketch for a conversation piece of a seated couple with two young children and a young man on the right holding a gun is interesting in that the composition is ruled for transfer and enclosed by ruled margins representing the frame. The size of the picture is given in feet and inches as ‘ 3–6 ’ × ‘ 4–8 ’, i.e. 42 × 56 in. No related picture has been discovered so far. This and T04203 appear to be alternative designs for the same composition.

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996

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