Joseph Highmore Gallery
Joseph Highmore (3 June 1692?C1780), was a British portrait and historical painter.
Born in London in 1692, he displayed early a strong ability, particularly for the fine arts, which was discouraged by his family, who rather saw him as a solicitor. However, all his spare time was dominated by his favourite pursuit and, upon the ending of his clerkship at the age of seventeen, he abandoned law and resolved to trust in future to his talents as a painter alone for his chance of fame and fortune.
His gamble paid off and he continued to improve his reputation and upon the revival of the Order of the Bath in 1725, he was selected to paint the knights in full costume. The years 1732 to 1734 were spent on a tour of the Netherlands and France and on his return to England, he applied himself to perfecting his talent, which continued for the next 50 years of his life, until his death.
Among his best works are biblical "Histories", historical painting being a style which Highmore had picked up on his travels in France. One such biblical painting is Hagar and Ishmael, which was donated to the Foundling Hospital for the purpose of decorating its Court Room (the room where the Court of Governors met). The painting is still part of the Foundling Hospital art collection and can now be seen at the Foundling Museum in London.
As an author, he was best known for the rather longwindedly titled Critical Examination of Reubens' two Paintings in the Banqueting House and Observations on Bodwell's Pamphlet against Christianity.