frame: 2300 x 2970 mm
This ambitious portrait depicts various family members gathered around a painted portrait, possibly a recently deceased brother or a member of the present family group. Here, Romney celebrates the kinship of family life, while acknowledging, through the group’s focus on the portrait upon the table, the vital role of the artist in articulating the sensibility which underlies the familial relationship. This type of intimate family portrait or ‘conversation piece’ had been common in British art for several decades, although in the past it had been painted on a much smaller scale. However, Romney uses the life-size format more usually reserved for official, public portraiture.