George Richmond

Abel the Shepherd

1825

Artist
George Richmond 1809–1896
Medium
Tempera on oak
Dimensions
Support: 229 x 305 mm
frame: 334 x 406 x 40 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1948
Reference
N05858

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.

Gallery label, September 2004