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    Sensibility and genealogy in the Eighteenth-Century family portrait: the collection at Kedleston Hall

    Retford, Kate (2003) Sensibility and genealogy in the Eighteenth-Century family portrait: the collection at Kedleston Hall. The Historical Journal 46 (3), pp. 533-560. ISSN 0018-246X.

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    This article analyses Nathaniel Hone's portrait of Lord and Lady Scarsdale (1761) and the significance that such images have for our understanding of the eighteenth-century family. It first discusses the imagery of the painting and places it in the context of the shift that occurred in family portraiture between 1740 and 1760. Whilst earlier images presented stiffly posed figures, later portraits such as that by Hone came to focus on the sitters' affective relationships. The article argues that, whilst aesthetic influences played a part in this transition, it was chiefly prompted by the sentimentalization of familial ideals. Such 'promenade portraits' encapsulated the companionate marriage, hailed as a blend of masculine rationality and feminine tenderness. However, once contextualized within the state rooms for which it was conceived, the Hone portrait also reveals more 'traditional' concerns. It makes formal references to accompanying portraits of Stuart monarchs and dignitaries, emphasizing the tory affiliations of the Scarsdales and their loyalty to the Stuart dynasty. The state rooms also contain a portrait of Lord Scarsdale as a baby with his parents and his deceased elder brother. This image affirms the continuation of the male line in the face of high infant mortality rates, a statement that is confirmed in the Hone painting.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2020 06:56
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:05


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