The Conversation Piece

Making Modern Art in Eighteenth-century Britain

The Conversation Piece

Shortlisted for the 2018 Apollo Book of the Year award Pioneered by William Hogarth (1697-1764) and his peers in the early 18th century, and then revitalized by Johan Zoffany (1733-1810), the conversation piece was an innovative mode of portraiture, depicting groups posed in landscape or domestic settings. These artists grappled with creating complex multi-figured compositions and intricate narratives, filling their paintings with representations of socially, nationally, and temporally precise customs. Paying particular attention to the vibrant (and at times fabricated) interior and exterior settings in these works, Kate Retford discusses the various ways that the conversation piece engaged with the rich material culture of Georgian Britain. The book also explores how these portraits served a wide array of interests and concerns among familial networks and larger social groups. From codifying performances of politeness to engaging in cross-cultural exchanges, the conversation piece was a complex and nuanced expression of a multifaceted society.

The Conversation Piece

Scenes of Fashionable Life

The Conversation Piece

'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.

Conversation Piece

Conversation Piece

When Oliver visits Pullinstown, he is introduced to wild days of hunting and shooting, and to characters like his cousins, with their passion for horses and trickery, and Sir Richard, elderly, but a match for his headstrong offspring. The author has also written under the pseudonym, M.J. Farrell.

Christmas Conversation Piece

Christmas Conversation Piece

What one Christmas tradition would you never want to give up? If you could spend Christmas anywhere in the world, where would you most want to be? If you could have visited the Christ child just as the Three Kings did, what would you have brought as a gift? You've been chosen to host a sensational Christmas celebration on TV: What three guests would you choose to make it the best Christmas special ever? The Christmas Conversation Piece offers these and many other questions to pose and ponder during a season of both deep reflection and unabashed merriment. This charming volume--the perfect stocking stuffer--will provide you, your family, and your friends with twelve days of surprising and amusing Yuletide questions. Who would you most like to meet under the mistletoe? Your answer just may change by Christmas Eve! From the Hardcover edition.

The Conversation Piece

Creative Questions to Tickle the Mind

The Conversation Piece

Presents intriguing questions to inspire thought and conversation such as "What moment of `glory' have you watched another person celebrate that you too would love to experience?"

Conversation Pieces

Community and Communication in Modern Art

Conversation Pieces

Grant Kester discusses the disparate network of artists & collectives united by a desire to create new forms of understanding through creative dialogue that crosses boundaries of race, religion, & culture.

The Barber's Clock

A Conversation Piece

The Barber's Clock