Wednesday, January 22, 2020

18C Families in Gardens & Parks


Francis Hayman Portrait of  Samuel Richardson the-Novelist 1684-1761 with his 2nd Family 1740


John Wootton, The Beauchamp-Proctor Family and Friends at Langley Park, Norfolk, 1749



Benjamin Ferrers (1695–1732) A Family on the garden terrace of a country house



Benjamin Ferrers (1695–1732) Three Ladies of the Leman Family & their Dogs on a Garden Terrace 1728



 British School 18C A Family in a Landscape 1750



Francis Wheatley (1747-1801) A Family Group in a Park Landscape 1775



 Hugh Barron (1745–1791) Portrait of Mr Leroy with his Daughter



Hugh Barron (1745–1791) The Children of George Bond of Ditchleys 1768.



Hugh Barron (1747-1791) Portrait of a young boy holding a cricket bat with a young girl and a spaniel



Hugh Barron (1747-1791) John 2nd Earl of Egmont (1711-1770) and His Family


Johann Heinrich Strumpff A Family Portrait 1766 



Unknown Artist Portrait of the Sayer Family


Josef Frans Nollekens (Flemish-born British artist, 1702-1748) Playing with a Hobby Horse on a Garden Terrace 1741-47



Josef Frans Nollekens (Flemish-born British artist, 1702-1748) Portrait of a Family on a Garden Terrace (1740)



1743 Edwardy Haytley (English artist, (1740-61)  The Montagu family at their Sandleford Priory estate in Berkshire



Philippe Mercier (1689-1760) Lord Tyrconnel (on the left) with his family in the grounds of Belton House


1744-46 Edwardy Haytley (English artist, (1740-61) The Brockman Family at Beachborough Temple Pond


1740s Edwardy Haytley (English artist, (1740-61) The Brockman family at Beachborough Manor


1756 Arthur Devis (English artist, 1712-1787) Edward Gordon, His Sister Mrs Miles and Her Husband in their Garden at Bromley

1773 Edward Smith (English artist) An Angling Party in the Garden (perhaps The Willyams Family at Carnanton)


Johann Heinrich Tischbein the Elder, called the Kasseler (1722-1789), Portrait of the Timmermann Family on the Garden Terrace


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

18C Personal Branding - Garden Conversation Pieces

Samuel Richardson, the Novelist (1684-1761), Seated, Surrounded by his Second Family by Francis Hayman (1708-1776)  Thought to be Hayman’s finest painting, it exemplifies the informal group portrait significant to British cultural life, being a small-scale painting of the novelist Samuel Richardson with his 2nd wife & young family. Richardson’s 1st marriage ended in tragedy with the death of his wife & all of his 6 children. His 2nd marriage to Elizabeth Leake (1714–1773) also produced 6 children, 2 of whom died in childhood as well. Here we see, from left to right, Elizabeth Richardson with the couple’s youngest daughter, Sarah (baptized 17 July 1740) on her knee; Anne (baptized 16 August 1737); Martha (baptized 15 July 1736); & Mary, the eldest child (baptized 2 January 1734). To her left is seated Richardson & at the far right Miss Elizabeth Midwinter, later Lady Gosling, who was living with the Richardson family at the time.

Since the mid-20C, personal branding or self-packaging has described a burgeoning process of attempting to establish a prescribed image or impression in the minds of others about an individual or a family.  With no instant & far-reaching social media or digitally-aided forms of disclosure in the 18C, that wasn't so easy.  But that kind of perception could be reinforced through Conversation Piece portraits.  Pioneered by William Hogarth (1697–1764) & Philip Mercier (1689-1760) in the early 18C, & continued by Arthur Devis (1712-1787), George Stubbs (1724-1806), Johan Zoffany (1733–1810) & others, the Conversation Piece was a new form of portraiture, depicting groups of traditional & aspiring gentry often in country house garden landscape settings.

A growing, affluent middle class was emerging, as Britain’s colonial empire prospered in the 17C & 18C, & its Industrial Revolution began.  The dissolution of England's monasteries in the 1530s had led to new land ownership, and consequently to a new class of non-aristocratic landowners. The power battles between this new class & the old finally led to the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660.  Often socially spurned by established aristocracy, these newly-wealthy merchants, industrialists, & landowners assumed more casual manners enlivening both novels & group portraits. These new portrait Conversation Pieces & novels, like Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice & Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, attempted to portray a more relaxed narrative of the prosperous middle class rather than the stiff allegories & heroic epic poems preferred by earlier aristocrats. Painters were commissioned to hold a mirror to this emerging English society more intimately portrayed in still sought-after planned environments participating in activities expected of "natural leaders" at their elegantly country house landscapes.  No longer were families simply rather stiffly painted outdoors, as they were in the 17C, when budding science was promoting man as the "interpreter of Nature."  Now the newly-privileged yearned to appear in complex multi-figured compositions, filled with more relaxed representations of traditional, socially-proper customs & activities. The vibrant (& at times wholly fabricated) settings in these works reflect the aspirations of the emerging material culture of Georgian Britain. 

Typically those depicted were members of an immediate family, but in-laws, friends & colleagues could be included; & sometimes, significant deceased relatives also appeared.  Occasionally, artists depicted organized gatherings of elite gentlemen discussing new science or scholarship. The settings of outdoor Conversation Pieces reflected the image the client wanted to present, especially the ideal landscape or more-natural garden, which he wanted to portray as the upper-class setting of his everyday activities.  And so, these Conversation Pieces are a great way to see what those in the 18C aspired to have in their planned, personal landscapes. The subjects of outdoor Conversation Pieces were depicted enjoying a variety of genteel pastimes, whether or not they actually could do the activities. Elites, aspiring or long-established, were painted sharing common activities such as hunting, fishing, outdoor meals & musical parties. Dogs & horses were also frequently included as proper gentry accessories.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Johann Zoffany (1733-1810) paints families in English Gardens & Parks


Johann Zoffany (German-born English artist, 1733-1810) The Auriol and Dashwood Families


Johann Zoffany (German-born English artist, 1733-1810) The children of Ferdinand of Parma (Louis, Carolina, Maria Antonia and Carlotta) on the Garden Terrace


Johann Zoffany (German-born English artist, 1733-1810) The Colmore Family


Johann Zoffany (German-born English artist, 1733-1810) Queen Charlotte with her Children and Brothers


Circle of Johann Zoffany (German-born English artist, 1733-1810) Portrait of the Sayer Family


Johann Zoffany (German-born English artist, 1733-1810) Sir Elijah and Lady Impey and Their Three Children


Johann Zoffany (German-born English artist, 1733-1810) George III, Queen Charlotte and their 6 eldest children on the Garden Terrace


1780 Johann Zoffany (German-born English painter, 1733-1810) Henry and Mary Styleman


Johann Zoffany (German-born English painter, 1733-1810) The Drummond Family


Johann Zoffany (German-born English painter, 1733-1810) The Lavie Children, ca. 1770


Johann Zoffany (German-born English painter, 1733-1810) The Sharp Family (1779–81)



 1763 Johann Zoffany (German-born English painter, 1733-1810) The Daughters of John 3rd Earl of Bute



1763 Johann Zoffany (German-born English painter, 1733-1810) The Mathew Family at Felix Hall, Kelvedon, Essex



 1763 Johann Zoffany (German-born English painter, 1733-1810) The Sons of John 3rd Earl of Bute



 1766 Johann Zoffany (German-born English painter, 1733-1810) The Woodley Family



 1767 Johann Zoffany (German-born English painter, 1733-1810) The Family of William Young


 1769 Johann Zoffany (German-born English painter, 1733-1810) The Bradshaw Family



Johann Joseph Zoffany (German-born artist, 1733-1810) David Garrick and his Wife 


Sunday, January 19, 2020

18C Personal Branding - Garden Conversation Pieces

Hugh Barron 1747–1791  The Children & a Dog of George Bond of Ditchleys 1768. George Bond, father of 7 children, was a merchant, & an official in the East India Company. The 3 older boys play cricket, flanked by their younger brothers, sisters, & a dog. Two younger brothers are dressed in white gowns, often called petticoats, with blue sashes, as was then the custom for toddlers of either sex. The youngest boy, Essex Henry Bond, 2nd from the left, later became a commander in the navy, transporting convicts to Australia.

Since the mid-20C, personal branding or self-packaging has described a burgeoning process of attempting to establish a prescribed image or impression in the minds of others about an individual or a family.  With no instant & far-reaching social media or digitally-aided forms of disclosure in the 18C, that wasn't so easy.  But that kind of perception could be reinforced through Conversation Piece portraits.  Pioneered by William Hogarth (1697–1764) & Philip Mercier (1689-1760) in the early 18C, & continued by Arthur Devis (1712-1787), George Stubbs (1724-1806), Johan Zoffany (1733–1810) & others, the Conversation Piece was a new form of portraiture, depicting groups of traditional & aspiring gentry often in country house garden landscape settings.

A growing, affluent middle class was emerging, as Britain’s colonial empire prospered in the 17C & 18C, & its Industrial Revolution began.  The dissolution of England's monasteries in the 1530s had led to new land ownership, and consequently to a new class of non-aristocratic landowners. The power battles between this new class & the old finally led to the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II in 1660.  Often socially spurned by established aristocracy, these newly-wealthy merchants, industrialists, & landowners assumed more casual manners enlivening both novels & group portraits. These new portrait Conversation Pieces & novels, like Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice & Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, attempted to portray a more relaxed narrative of the prosperous middle class rather than the stiff allegories & heroic epic poems preferred by earlier aristocrats. Painters were commissioned to hold a mirror to this emerging English society more intimately portrayed in still sought-after planned environments participating in activities expected of "natural leaders" at their elegantly country house landscapes.  No longer were families simply rather stiffly painted outdoors, as they were in the 17C, when budding science was promoting man as the "interpreter of Nature."  Now the newly-privileged yearned to appear in complex multi-figured compositions, filled with more relaxed representations of traditional, socially-proper customs & activities. The vibrant (& at times wholly fabricated) settings in these works reflect the aspirations of the emerging material culture of Georgian Britain. 

Typically those depicted were members of an immediate family, but in-laws, friends & colleagues could be included; & sometimes, significant deceased relatives also appeared.  Occasionally, artists depicted organized gatherings of elite gentlemen discussing new science or scholarship. The settings of outdoor Conversation Pieces reflected the image the client wanted to present, especially the ideal landscape or more-natural garden, which he wanted to portray as the upper-class setting of his everyday activities.  And so, these Conversation Pieces are a great way to see what those in the 18C aspired to have in their planned, personal landscapes. The subjects of outdoor Conversation Pieces were depicted enjoying a variety of genteel pastimes, whether or not they actually could do the activities. Elites, aspiring or long-established, were painted sharing common activities such as hunting, fishing, outdoor meals & musical parties. Dogs & horses were also frequently included as proper gentry accessories.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

William Hogarth (1697-1764) paints Conversation Pieces in Parks & Gardens throughout the English Countryside


1730 William Hogarth, (English artist, 1697-1764)  The Jones Conversation Piece

A Conversation Piece is a small informal group portrait popular from the 18C, often showing people – sometimes families, sometimes groups of friends – often interacting in outdoor, garden settings.

1738 William Hogarth, (English artist, 1697-1764) The Hervey Converstion Piece The Holland House Group

Conversation Pieces usually portrayed a group apparently engaged in some informal genteel conversation or some family activity. Typically the portrait group were members of a family, but friends could be included; and sometimes, deceased relatives also re-appeared.

William Hogarth (1697-1764) Woodes Rogers (c.1679–1732) and his Family

The settings of Conversation Pieces reflected the image the client wanted to portray, including the ideal landscape or formal garden, which he wanted to depict as the settings for his everyday activities. And so, these Conversation Pieces are a great way to see what those in the early 18C aspired to have in their planned, personal landscapes.


William Hogarth (1697-1764) A House of Cards

The subjects of Conversation Pieces were depicted in a variety of genteel pastimes, whether or not they really could do the activities they were portrayed enjoying.  People were painted sharing common activities such as hunts, meals, fishing, or musical parties. Dogs & horses were also frequently included as proper gentry accessories.

1731 William Hogarth, (English artist, 1697-1764) Ashley Cowper with his Wife and Daughter


1742 William Hogarth, (English artist, 1697-1764) and George Lambert (English artist, 1700-1765) Family in the Garden at 
Chiswick House 


 William Hogarth (1697-1764) A Children's Tea Party 1730


 William Hogarth (1697-1764) A Fishing Party



 William Hogarth (1697-1764) John and Elizabeth Jeffreys and Their Children c 1730



William Hogarth (1697-1764) The Edwards-Hamilton Family on their Terrace in Kensington



William Hogarth (1697-1764) The Mackinen Children. 1747


William Hogarth (1697-1764) The Fountaine Family