The stage is set for  this charming, diminutive and high quality 18th century portrait of a family on a terrace from an artist in the circle of Joseph Highmore (1692-1780) This sensitively rendered survivor from an age of elegance, is in fact a ‘conversation piece’ a type of informal group portrait popular in the 18th century. Usually small in scale they depict groups of family or friends in domestic interiors or garden settings.

A rare and jewel like example, this painting shows a high status family in repose. A father deep in thought, a mother nursing a baby, and an inquisitive brother and sister sporting shimmering brightly coloured Van Dyke costumes. They are framed by romantic architectural elements, which are softened by rambling roses.

This fine painting has been recently conserved and is ready to hang and enjoy in a wonderful hand carved eighteenth century gilt frame.

John Gile Eccardt (1720-1779) was a German-born British Portrait painter. He came to England in the company of the French painter Jean-Baptiste van Loo for whom he worked as an assistant. When Van Loo left the country Eccardt chose to remain and he established a portrait-painting business many of his works display a fondness for seventeenth-century dress.

In the following years he completed portraits of a number of leading members of British society including Horace Walpole and his circle. This work is comparable to another conversation piece, that of Sir Robert and his wife Catherine Shorter (ca 1754) which is in the Lewis Walpole Library at Yale. There is a copy of that portrait as well as several other works by Eccardt at Walpoles former home, Strawberry Hill House, Britain’s finest example of Georgian Gothic Revival architecture. Eccardt died in 1779

Higher resolution images on request. 
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Canvas: 16” x 22" / 58cm x 74cm. Frame: 23" x 29" / 58cm x 74cm.

Internal Ref: 00053

Price: £16250