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  • At the far left of this family portrait a small figure with brown hands and dressed in green and red livery holds out a silver tray, on which rests an overturned teacup. Several features of the painting—including its unusual dimensions, compressed composition, and the condition of the canvas—suggest that it was cut down sometime after Hogarth completed it. In its original state, the figure at left was almost certainly wholly visible and probably represented a young African servant. "Portrait of a Family" is characteristic of Hogarth’s innovative approach to the conversation piece. Rather than arrange his sitters in formal, static poses, Hogarth frequently showed them engaged in an action or event—in this case, the disruption caused by the kitten’s toppling of the yarn basket from the tapestry table. The scene is set within an opulent sitting room filled with expensive goods and furnishings, many of them imported to England through its expanding Asian and Atlantic trade networks or made from imported raw materials, including a silver chandelier and porcelain tea service, and a Chinese vase and lacquer ware cabinet. The now partially cropped servant provides yet another sign of the family’s worldly wealth.
  • At the far left of this family portrait a small figure with brown hands and dressed in green and red livery holds out a silver tray, on which rests an overturned teacup. Several features of the painting—including its unusual dimensions, compressed composition, and the condition of the canvas—suggest that it was cut down sometime after Hogarth completed it. In its original state, the figure at left was almost certainly wholly visible and probably represented a young African servant. "Portrait of a Family" is characteristic of Hogarth’s innovative approach to the conversation piece. Rather than arrange his sitters in formal, static poses, Hogarth frequently showed them engaged in an action or event—in this case, the disruption caused by the kitten’s toppling of the yarn basket from the tapestry table. The scene is set within an opulent sitting room filled with expensive goods and furnishings, many of them imported to England through its expanding Asian and Atlantic trade networks or made from imported raw materials, including a silver chandelier and porcelain tea service, and a Chinese vase and lacquer ware cabinet. The now partially cropped servant provides yet another sign of the family’s worldly wealth. --This text served as the label to this object in Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain, an exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art that was curated by Esther Chadwick, Meredith Gamer, and Cyra Levenson, which was on view from October 2, 2014 until December 14, 2014.
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  • Alternate title :: A Family Party
  • Bibliograpic reference ::
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Angus Trumble, The Finger : A Handbook, , Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2010, p. 81, GT498.F46 T78 2010 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Angus Trumble, The finger, a handbook, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2010, p. 81, GT498.F46 T78 2010 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, pp. 252, 255, fig. 1, N5220 M552 A7 1977 OVERSIZE (YCBA) , Published as April 1977 issue of Apollo; all of the articles may also be found in bound Apollo Volume [N1 A54 105:2 +]
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Chi-ming Yang, Commentary on Portrait of a Family by William Hogarth, [ Website ], Accessed 11/30/2015, 6:31 minutes, Available Online , http://interactive.britishart.yale.edu/slavery-and-portraiture/329/commentary-by-chi-ming-yang
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Ching-Jung Chen, The early Georgian conversation piece : Thesis (Ph. D.)--Rutgers University, UMI Dissertation Services, Ann Arbor, 2001, pp. 65, 66, 474-75, cat. no. 104, Available online : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Elizabeth Einberg, William Hogarth : A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, New Haven, London, 2016, pp. 83-85, cat. 47, NJ18 H67 +E36 2016 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Elizabeth Einberg, William Hogarth : A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, New Haven, London, 2016, pp. 83-85, cat. 47, NJ18 H67 +E36 2016 Oversize (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Ellen G. D'Oench, The Conversation Piece: Arthur Devis & his contemporaries, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1980, pp. 6-7, 68, cat. no. 47, NJ18 D5151 D64 OVERSIZE
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Figures of empire : slavery and portraiture in eighteenth-century Atlantic Britain, organized by the Yale Center for British Art and curated by Esther Chadwick and Meredith Gamer, PhD candidates in the History of Art at Yale University and Cyra Levenson,, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2014, pp. 14-15, 41, fig. 3, V 2556 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: J. H. Plumb, The pursuit of happiness : a view of life in Georgian England : an exhibition selected from the Paul Mellon collection, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1977, pp. 58, 120, no. 126, N6766 Y34 1977 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Jonathan Holloway, Commentary on Portrait of a Family by William Hogarth, [ Website ], Yale Center for British Art, Accessed 11/30/2015, 15:09 minutes, Available Online , http://interactive.britishart.yale.edu/slavery-and-portraiture/338/commentary-by-jonathan-holloway
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Jonathan Holloway, Commentary on a Group Portrait featuring Elihu Yale by an unknown artist, [ Website ], Yale Center for British Art, Accessed 11/30/15, Passing comments and references, Available Online , http://interactive.britishart.yale.edu/slavery-and-portraiture/331/commentary-by-jonathan-holloway
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Kate Retford, The Conversation Piece Making Modern Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Yale University Press, New Haven, p. 291, fig. 216, ND1314.4 .R48 2017 (LC) Oversize (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Mark Aronson, Commentary on Portrait of a Family by William Hogarth, [ Website ], Yale Center for British Art, Accessed 12/1/2015, 15:59 minutes, Available Online , http://interactive.britishart.yale.edu/slavery-and-portraiture/333/commentary-by-mark-aronson
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Penelope McElwee, The non-representation of the agricultural labourers in 18th and 19th century English paintings : an exploration into the artistic conventions followed by the aristocracy and landowning classes in representations of the agricultural labourers ..., Newcastle upon Tyne, 2016, pp. 12-13, 16 -17, , fig. 1-1, NX650.L32 M34 2016 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Ralph Edwards, Georgian Conversation Pictures, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, p. 252, 255, fig. 1, N1 A54 105:2 + (YCBA) , Another copy of this article may be found in a separately bound and catalogued copy of this issue located on the Mellon Shelf [call number : N5220 M552 A7 1977 + (YCBA)]
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Sacheverell Sitwell, Conversation pieces, a survey of English domestic portraits and their painters, B.T. Batsford, London, 1936, pp. 17, 18, 92, pl. 17, fig. 17, ND1314 S5 1936 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Stuart Semmel, Commentary on Portrait of a Family by William Hogarth, [ Website ], Yale Center for British Art, Accessed 12/1/2015, 9:14 minutes, , Available Online , http://interactive.britishart.yale.edu/slavery-and-portraiture/334/commentary-by-stuart-semmel
  • Bibliograpic reference :: William Hogarth : a selection of paintings from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon., , National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., 1971, pp. 44, pl. 10, NJ18 H67 U53 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: William Hogarth : A Loan Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings and Prints of the Virginia Museum, , Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA., January 30-March 5, 1967, p. 23, no. 18, NJ18 H67 +F72 1967 Oversize (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: William Hogarth : A Selection of Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon., , National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., 1971, pp. 44, pl. 10, NJ18 H67 U53 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: William Hogarth, a loan exhibition of paintings, drawings and prints of the Virginia Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA., January 30-March 5, 1967, p. 23, no. 18, NJ18 H67 F72 1967+ OVERSIZE (YCBA)
  • Dimension height :: 53.3cm
  • Dimension width :: 74.9cm
  • Exhibition :: 2016 Installation YCBA - 401
  • Exhibition :: Figures of Empire
  • Exhibition :: Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain
  • Exhibition :: Pleasures and Pastimes
  • Exhibition :: The Conversation Piece - Arthur Devis & His Contemporaries
  • Exhibition :: The Pursuit of Happiness - A View of Life in Georgian England
  • Exhibition :: William Hogarth - A Selection of Painting from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
  • Located in :: 401
  • Located in :: Bay08
  • Located in :: New Haven
  • Located in :: On view
  • Located in :: YCBA, 401, Bay08
  • Located in :: Yale Center for British Art
  • Object type :: painting
  • Subject Concept :: Chinese vase
  • Subject Concept :: bust
  • Subject Concept :: card table
  • Subject Concept :: cat (domestic cat)
  • Subject Concept :: chairs
  • Subject Concept :: chandelier
  • Subject Concept :: conversation piece
  • Subject Concept :: costume
  • Subject Concept :: curtains
  • Subject Concept :: dog (animal)
  • Subject Concept :: drawing room
  • Subject Concept :: embroidering
  • Subject Concept :: family
  • Subject Concept :: fireplace
  • Subject Concept :: food
  • Subject Concept :: furniture
  • Subject Concept :: gesture
  • Subject Concept :: group portrait
  • Subject Concept :: handkerchief
  • Subject Concept :: interior
  • Subject Concept :: men
  • Subject Concept :: mirror
  • Subject Concept :: party
  • Subject Concept :: portrait
  • Subject Concept :: pregnancy
  • Subject Concept :: saucer
  • Subject Concept :: sculpture
  • Subject Concept :: servant
  • Subject Concept :: slave
  • Subject Concept :: tables
  • Subject Concept :: tea
  • Subject Concept :: tea set
  • Subject Concept :: tea table
  • Subject Concept :: teacup
  • Subject Concept :: tray
  • Subject Concept :: women
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  • Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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  • Portrait of a Family
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