Sir Godfrey Kneller

The Harvey Family

1721

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 2348 x 2838 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Transferred from Newham Museums Service (acquired Passmore Edwards Museum, with assistance from the Art Fund) with additional payment (Grant-in-Aid) 2000
Reference
T07615

Display caption

This painting shows the Harvey family of Rolls Park, Essex. Their wealth was built on business, but the scale and format of this picture imitates the aristocratic style of grand courtly portraiture. Does the restrained style of this painting suggest a new set of social values?

Such striking paintings were meant to be seen in country house galleries where other portraits were on show, so that the continuity of the family over generations could be stressed.

Gallery label, March 2011

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