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Barent Graat (Amsterdam 1628- Amsterdam 1709)

A Family Group Signed and dated 1658

Oil on canvas | 57.9 x 67.4 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external) | RCIN 405341

This seventeenth-century Dutch family portrait (and others like it) provided the inspiration for innumerable eighteenth-century English conversation pieces, recording the way of life of family groups or friends. It depicts the fine things enjoyed by the prosperous middle class – white starched linen, shiny black silk, silver, glass, a Turkish carpet, wine and lap dogs. It also suggests an easy familiarity with these things, a comfortable, almost complacent, informality.

Acquired by George IV in 1811, when Prince Regent