conversation piece

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Johann Zoffany (1733—1810) portrait painter

Arthur Devis (1712—1787) portrait painter

Francis Hayman (1708—1776) painter, engraver, and book illustrator

Thomas Gainsborough (1727—1788) painter and printmaker

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A portrait showing two or more full-length figures engaged in conversation or other polite social activity, generally in a domestic or landscape setting. Conversation pieces are usually, though not always, fairly small in size. They were especially popular in Britain during the 18th century, when Arthur Devis, the young Gainsborough, and Zoffany were notable practitioners, but the use of the term is not confined to British painting or to this period.

Subjects: Art.

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