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The evidence of the conversation piece: Thomas Bardwell's The Broke and Bowes Families (1740)

Retford, Kate (2010) The evidence of the conversation piece: Thomas Bardwell's The Broke and Bowes Families (1740). Cultural and Social History 7 (4), pp. 493-510. ISSN 1478-0038.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/147800410X12797967061046

Abstract

The picture discussed apparently represents a 'snapshot' of eighteenth-century family life. However, it is argued in this article that it is problematic to approach such visual material as if it can render direct evidence of a past, historical reality. This is not simply because art may distort or misrepresent its subject matter. Such an approach is also in danger of ignoring the potential evidence embodied in the representation itself - in this case, both a highly self-conscious 'display' of modern life and an historically meaningful act of artistic prowess.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Conversation piece, visuality, mediation, portraiture, everyday life
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > History of Art
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 13 May 2011 10:47
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2014 12:12
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3276

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