The Conversation Piece
Scenes of Fashionable Life
Distributed for Royal Collection Trust
'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.