Conversation Piece (Portrait of James Grant of Grant, John Mytton, the Honorable Thomas Robinson, and Thomas Wynne)
Three other versions, for the various sitters, are in the collection of the Earl of Seafield, Cullen, Banffshire; the Yale Center for British Art (B1976.7.19); and the collection of Lady Lucas.
Nathaniel Dance, English, 1735 - 1811
A conversation piece is an informal group portrait, often depicting friends. This is one of four almost identical canvases painted in 1760–61, one for each of the four sitters. With the ruins of the Colosseum plainly visible in the background, the picture records the young men's trip to Rome. Known as the Grand Tour, such travel was a standard part of the education of eighteenth-century English gentlemen.
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