The Saithwaite Family

Francis Wheatley British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 630

Wheatley was among the best painters of the small-scale group portrait, or conversation piece, one of the most innovative genres of eighteenth-century English art. Here he shows a couple and their little girl, traditionally identified as members of the Saithwaite family. The lady’s dress, with its starched white muslin trim, her puffy powdered hair, and her elaborate plumed hat indicate a date of about 1785. The red figured damask upholstery and the Turkish carpet are painted with an attention to detail that conveys the luxurious textures of the family’s surroundings.

The Saithwaite Family, Francis Wheatley (British, London 1747–1801 London), Oil on canvas

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