International Slavery Museum acquires powerful abolition painting

Published 2 March 2018

The painting is a significant acquisition for the UK and is only the second known painting to exist featuring this motif.

The painting’s dominant motif is that of an enslaved African, kneeling, bound in chains and set against the backdrop of a Caribbean sugar plantation. It is based on a design commissioned by the Committee for the Abolition of the Slave Trade on 5 July 1787, and is considered to be one of the first instances of a logo designed for a political cause, and used famously by the potter Josiah Wedgwood.

A significant acquisition for the UK, it is only the second known painting to exist featuring this motif – the only other being ‘The Kneeling Slave' at the Wilberforce House Museum in Hull.

Stephen Deuchar, Director, Art Fund said: “We are proud to be able to support the International Slavery Museum in acquiring this fascinating version of an iconic image. It will undoubtedly enrich the museum’s narrative around abolition and its important place in British history.”

Following restoration and cleaning work to be carried out on the painting, it will go on display in the International Slavery Museum towards the end of 2018.

Back to top