Joseph Highmore

A Sheet of Two Studies for a Male Full-Length and ‘The Good Samaritan’

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Highmore 1692–1780
Graphite and ink on paper. Verso: graphite and ink on paper
Support: 266 × 166 mm
Presented by Mrs Joan Highmore Blackhall and Dr R.B. McConnell 1986

Catalogue entry

[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.

T04213 A Sheet of Two Studies for a Male Full- length and ‘The Good Samaritan’ c.1744
Verso: A Group of ? Four Figures

Pencil and pen on paper 267 × 165 (10 1/2 × 6 1/2)
Inscribed ‘J.H’ in pencil to the right of the right-hand male full-length
Lit: Ralph Edwards, ‘Hogarth into Highmore’, Apollo, vol.90, 1969, pp.148–51, fig.5; Lewis 1975, II, pp.654–5, no.45; Einberg & Egerton 1988, p.60, fig.21 (detail of ‘Samaritan’)

Highmore returned to the subject of the Good Samaritan more than once, most notably in the large version painted for John Sheppard in 1744 (Tate Gallery T00076) and a very different composition in the background of the first scene of the ‘Pamela’ series (Tate Gallery N03573). While this sketch differs from both of these, it seems quite close in some (but not all) respects to the ‘Good Samaritan’ painted by Hogarth for St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1737. This is probably a compositional working sketch which helped Highmore to clarify his own ideas on a much-represented subject. The drawing on the back is a very faint pencil sketch.

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996

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