[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.
T04211 Family Group of Six Persons in a Room c.1740–50
Pencil on paper 127 × 190 (5 × 7 1/2)
Inscribed ‘En Famille. JH.’ b.r.
The ruled frame-like margins of this delightful and fully worked-out composition suggest that it may represent a work realised in oils. The group consists of two girls beside a cradle with a baby in it; one of them has raised her hand as if to silence a youth with a bow who has run impetuously into the room through the open door on the right. The man standing in the middle holds a small child by the hand, who in turn grasps a doll. The scene is set in a panelled room with high ceilings and bare boards, armchairs placed formally against the walls, and a large fireplace in the background, its mantelpiece decorated with vases and ornaments.
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996