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Friends & Family

Dec 05, 2015 - Mar 28, 2016 Works on Paper Room, Huntington Art Gallery

Friends and Family: British Artists Depict their Circle

The Huntington is known for its great collection of 18th-century grand manner British portraits, public images that display their sitters’ wealth and social position as conspicuously as possible. As much status symbols as works of art, such portraits generally represent a business transaction between the artist and the person who commissioned the painting. This exhibition presents another, more personal side of British portraiture. A wide-ranging selection of small-scale portraits in various media shows how artists from the mid -18th to the early 20th centuries portrayed subjects well-known to them in the prevailing artistic styles of the day – from the fashionable pastels of the Georgian era, to the careful observations of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood a century later, to the avant-garde abstractions of the modernists. Most of these portraits were not made for display in public exhibitions, but for private reasons – as records of dear ones’ features, as gifts between friends, as lovers’ tokens. The 16 portraits on display in the exhibition, including works by artists such as Allan Ramsay, John Constable, Samuel Palmer, and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, represent a more intimate encounter between artist and subject and reveal the rich diversity of British portraiture housed in The Huntington’s art collections.

 


Allan Ramsay II (British, 1713-1784), Amelia Ramsay, 1776, red pencil heightened with white on tinted paper. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Sir Bruce Ingram Collection.

Allan Ramsay II (British, 1713-1784), Amelia Ramsay, 1776, red pencil heightened with white on tinted paper. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Sir Bruce Ingram Collection.

 


John Russell (British, 1745-1806), Mrs. Decourcy, late 18th century, pastel on blue paper. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Sir Bruce Ingram Collection.

John Russell (British, 1745-1806), Mrs. Decourcy, late 18th century, pastel on blue paper. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Sir Bruce Ingram Collection.

 


Samuel Palmer (British, 1805-1881), George Richmond Engraving “The Shepherd”, 1827, pen.

Samuel Palmer (British, 1805-1881), George Richmond Engraving “The Shepherd”, 1827, pen.

 


Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (French, 1891-1915, active Great Britain), Portrait of Claud Lovat Fraser, 1912, watercolor, gouache and charcoal on paper.

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska (French, 1891-1915, active Great Britain), Portrait of Claud Lovat Fraser, 1912, watercolor, gouache and charcoal on paper.

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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