Michael Craig-Martin’s painting Tricycle shows a meticulous image of a child’s tricycle against a vivid mauve background.

The work was commissioned by the Foundling Museum for display among its historic collection of paintings by artists including Thomas Gainsborough, William Hogarth, Allan Ramsay and Joshua Reynolds. Among the museum’s collection is an abundance of domestic objects that are the surviving record of around 25,000 babies cared for by the hospital during its history. The museum also holds the ‘tokens’, often scraps of clothing or engraved coins, left by the mothers who deposited their babies there. Tricycle is intended to draw attention to these disparate objects in the museum’s care, and to the absence of the children connected with them.


The artist.

The Foundling Museum

40 Brunswick Square, London, Greater London, WC1N 1AZ
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