The Conversation Piece: Scenes of Fashionable Life

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Royal Collection Publications, 2009 - Art - 191 pages
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'The Conversation Piece' is an intriguing contradiction - the high-life group, but caught informally, off-guard. Popular in 17th-century Dutch painting, the genre was extended to include sporting events and 'Grand Tourists', and reached its apogee in the 18th-century in the masterpieces created by Johann Zoffany for his English patrons, including George III.

This new publication, the first on this subject for over thirty years, presents early Dutch and French genre paintings against their successors in the informal portraiture of Stubbs and Hogarth, as well as iconic works by Zoffany. It provides a unique opportunity to connect the study of 'the conversation' in 18th-century English art to its 17th-century European predecessors.

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In Custom and in Ceremony
The Dutch Republic 1648 1714 38
George IV 1762 1830 138

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About the author (2009)

Desmond Shawe-Taylor is Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures and was formerly Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery. His publications include The Georgians: Eighteenth-Century Portraiture and Society (1990) and most recently Bruegel to Rubens: Masters of Flemish Painting (2007).

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