Sir William Blake Richmond
The Slave c.1886

Artwork details

The Slave
Date c.1886
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Unconfirmed: 914 x 527 mm
Acquisition Presented by the artist's descendants 1995
Not on display

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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