The Height of Ambition by Jacob Thompson

Genre scene depicting a group of children riding on a sledge laden with heather gathered for fuel.


Oil on canvas
69 x 102 cm
Art Fund grant:
£4,500 ( Total: £18,000)
Acquired in:
Jeffery Reed

The children imagine that it is a grand carriage and one of the girls sits proudly atop the heather holding a burdock leaf as a parasol. The painting is the companion work to 'The Downfall of Pride', also at Penrith Museum, where the sledge has overturned and the children have tumbled out, completing the moral narrative.


James S Virtue, 1865; Private collection, 1879 (purchased at sale of Mr Virtue's pictures); Sotheby's, 1983; Private collection.

Venue details

Penrith and Eden Museum Robinson's School, Middlegate, PENRITH Cumbria CA11 7PT 01768 865105

Entry details

Free to all

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