George Richmond
Abel the Shepherd 1825

Artwork details

George Richmond 1809–1896
Abel the Shepherd
Date 1825
Medium Tempera on oak
Dimensions Support: 229 x 305 mm
frame: 334 x 406 x 40 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1948
Not on display

Display caption

Richmond was the youngest of Blake’s followers known as the ‘Ancients’. He first met Blake in 1824. Later that year he became a student at the Royal Academy. This was his first exhibited picture, shown at the Academy in 1825. It shows Abel, the son of Adam and Eve, who was described in Genesis as ‘a keeper of sheep’.

Richmond had asked Blake’s advice about using tempera. Blake copied out for him a passage from a modern edition of a fourteenth-century treatise on art by Cennino Cennini (reproduced on the panel to the left). Richmond’s choice of medium and support here reflects this advice.

September 2004

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