[George, Prince of Wales, and Frederick, later Duke of York, c.1764-5, by Johann Zoffany, The Royal Collection © 2009, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II]
I'm ending the week with another link to Enfilade and editor Craig Hanson's mention of the exhibition, The Conversation Piece: Scenes of Fashionable Life. Centuries before Bravo's "docu-dramas" and the lifestyle magazine spreads that are often carefully choreographed to make us, the viewers, feel we are seeing the subject off-guard in a rare and private moment, those who could afford to do so commissioned a specific type of portrait: the Conversation Piece.
In The Sunday Times, Anna Burnside notes that Conversation Pieces differed from stiff, run-of-the-mill portraits in that they were filled with aspirational details -- lush interiors, family and friends casually strolling in the garden or enjoying a dinner party.
Johann Zoffany, a master of the genre who rose to prominence in England during the 18th century, painted the red interior, or more specifically the newly decorated Queen’s Second Drawing Room at Buckingham House, shown at top. Click here for details about the furniture, carpet and wall covering. And be sure to use the zoom feature to see the artist's use of reflection above the fireplace. Zoffany depicts the heirs to the throne in a more casual manner and they are a bit swallowed up by the room.
Does the red on red remind anyone else of Elle Decor's December 2009 cover with interior design by Miles Redd photographed by Miguel Flores-Vianna?
Click here for all of Craig's commentary and helpful links.
Update: 1:53 p.m.
Aesthete recommends Conversation Pieces by Mario Praz and Conversation Pieces by Sacheverell Sitwell.