Basic Instincts

Curated by Dr Jacqueline Riding, Basic Instincts explores Georgian attitudes to love, desire and female respectability through the radical paintings of Joseph Highmore. A highly successful artist and Governor of London’s Foundling Hospital, Joseph Highmore (1692-1780) is best known as a portrait painter of the Georgian middle class. However, during the 1740s his art dramatically shifted as he turned his focus to societal attitudes towards women and sexuality. This first major Highmore exhibition for 50 years explores a ten-year period of disruptive commentary in his art, reflecting his engagement with the work of the new Foundling Hospital and its mission to support desperate and abused women.

Suitable for

£11.00* Adults £8.25* Concessions FREE for children, Foundling Friends & National Art Pass holders *Ticket prices include a voluntary Gift Aid donation



Exhibitions and events from this museum

Lucky Button

Inspired by the history of the Foundling Hospital, the book tells the moving...

The Lost Words

The Lost Words is a unique collaborative project between award-winning author...

First Amongst Equals

Remarkable women who have shaped contemporary British society choose objects...

Activities from this museum

We don't have anything to show you here.

Suggested Content