Jokes in Eighteenth-century British Portraiture
‘Audience with the author’: Dr. Kate Retford and book signing
We often think of portraiture as a very serious, self-promotional business, but a number of small ‘conversation piece’ portraits from the eighteenth century engaged with the lighter side of life. Sitters often liked to express their good humour, and required artists to engage with the ‘in jokes’ they shared with family and friends. Kate Retford, author of The Conversation Piece, recently published by Yale University Press (2017) will explore the humour to be found in these paintings, from puns through to pratfalls.