Gallery 629 - British Eighteenth-Century Painting
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The English works exhibited here were painted principally in London but also outside the capital city and date mostly to the eighteenth century. At first, there was a developing market for landscapes and cityscapes, sporting art, and "conversation pieces," an example of which is William Hogarth's famous wedding picture of 1729, seen in this gallery. In the second half of the century, patrons of all social ranks hungered for ever-larger portraits to give voice to their dynastic standing, individual achievements, or civic ambitions. Thus emerged the lifesize three-quarter- and full-length portraits of Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, and their contemporaries. Sir Thomas Lawrence's vivid images brought this grand-manner tradition to its summit and its end.
English paintings are also on view in the Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries and the English period rooms on the first floor.
Drue Heinz Gallery