Dr Jacqueline Riding, curator of our exhibition Basic Instincts, leads a tour for visitors. Discover the work of painter Joseph Highmore and his controversial painting of the 1740s which challenged Georgian attitudes to love, desire and female respectability. On public display in the UK for the first time as part of Basic Instincts is The Angel of Mercy (c.1746), a remarkable painting that still retains the power to shock.
Jacqueline Riding specialises in Georgian history and art. She read History and Art History at the universities of Leicester, London and York, and has over twenty-five years’ experience working as a curator and consultant within a broad range of museums, galleries and historic buildings, including the Guards Museum, Tate Britain and Historic Royal Palaces. From 1993–9 she was Assistant Curator of the Palace of Westminster and later founding Director of the Handel House Museum, London. She has published widely on early-Georgian art and history, including her major book Jacobites: A New History of the ’45 Rebellion (Bloomsbury 2016). She is currently writing a biography of William Hogarth (Head of Zeus). She was the consultant historian and art historian on Mike Leigh’s award-winning film Mr. Turner (2014) and is the consultant historian on his next feature film, Peterloo. Jacqueline Riding is Associate Research Fellow in the School of Arts, Birkbeck College, University of London and a Fellow of the Clore Leadership Programme.