Sir William Blake Richmond The Slave c.1886

Artwork details

Artist
Title
The Slave
Date c.1886
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Unconfirmed: 914 x 527 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by the artist's descendants 1995
Reference
T06966
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1840

Display caption

The meaning and source of this painting of an enslaved woman and her child are obscure. It may relate to French Orientalist paintings of captive women, a subject perhaps inspired by William Richmond’s visit to the Middle East in 1885. Slavery also became a popular subject in the 1880s for British painters as increasing numbers of them chose to study art in France. The outbreak of a number of moral panics in the 1880s, focusing on the victimisation of women and children by abusive men, also gave this type of painting contemporary significance.

July 2007

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