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Conversation Pieces

Conversation piece is a term for an informal group portrait, especially those painted in britain in the 18th century, beginning in the 1720s. they are distinguished by their portrayal of the group apparently engaged in genteel conversation or some activity, very often outdoors. typically the group will be members of a family, but friends may be included, and some groups are of friends, members of a society or hunt, or some other grouping. often the paintings are relatively small, about the same size as a half-length portrait but in horizontal or "landscape" format; others are much larger.