Art & Luxury



LE PAPE Isabelle
Cette notice propose d’identifier les conditions ayant contribué au développement des collections de spécimens, d’objets et d’œuvres d’art en Grande-Bretagne au XVIIIe siècle.
Conversation piece

Conversation piece

At around the same time as the places, practices and objects of sociability began to flourish, British portraitists started to offer a new mode of portraiture expressive of this culture. After a tentative start in the 1720s, the ‘conversation piece’ took off around 1730, thanks to artists such as William Hogarth, Gawen Hamilton, and Charles Philips. Portrayal of the sitters at full length allowed amplification of the physical gestures and interactions of sociability.


Taking snuff became a sophisticated social ritual in the 18th century. Snuff, a form of powdered tobacco, was contained and carried in specific boxes which came in various shapes and designs and ranged from luxurious objets d’art to more affordable artefacts.

A to Z entries

Art & Luxury: A to Z entries