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Francis Wheatley, 1747–1801

The Oliver and Ward Families

Former Title(s):

The Oliver and Ward Families in a Garden [1985, Cormack, YCBA Concise Catalogue]

The Garden Party [1975, Sotheby's sales catalogue]

ca. 1778
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on canvas
48 3/4 x 62 3/4 inches (123.8 x 159.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
child | conversation piece | costume | dinghy | family | garden | girl | group portrait | men | party | portrait | rowboat | shawls | water | women
Associated People:
Ward, James (d. 1781)
Ward, William
Ward, Mrs. William (née Saunders)
Leigh, Frances Wilson (née Oliver) (1773–1831)
Layard, Elizabeth (née Ward) (ca. 1755–1796)
Layard, Reverend Charles Peter (1748/9–1803) Vicar of St. Martin in the Fields, London later Dean of Bristol
Oliver, Thomas (1743–1822), Clerk of Messrs. Drummond Bank
Ward, Joseph
Ward, Elizabeth (née Holmes)
Oliver, Mary (née Ward) (1746–1821)
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

This is the family of a wealthy widow, Mrs. Ward (née Pye), seated second from the left. She is flanked by her elder daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Richard Oliver. Oliver's cousin (and brother-in-law) Thomas Oliver was a member of Parliament and a supporter of the radical John Wilkes, who pushed for the freedom of the press in Britain. Old Mrs. Ward's second son, William Ward, who sits on the ground, is holding his niece Frances, the Olivers' eldest child. Mrs. William Ward comes next, then the Reverend Charles Peter Layard (in black), a future prebendary of Worcester and Dean of Bristol. He is betrothed to Elizabeth Ward, whose eldest brother (standing in for their dead father) holds her hand. The youngest son, James Ward, who was an officer in the Royal Navy and eventually drowned in Chesapeake Bay, is shown sitting in the dinghy on the far right.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2005

Francis Wheatley (Yale Center for British Art, 2005-08-31 - 2006-02-05) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

The Conversation Piece - Arthur Devis & His Contemporaries (Yale Center for British Art, 1980-10-01 - 1980-11-30) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

Advertisement, Country Life, vol. 158, November 6, 1975, p. 1259, S3 C68 158:3 OVERSIZE [ORBIS]

Advertisement, Sotheby's Wednesday, 26th March, at 11am and 2.30 pm : Fine Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours , Connoisseur, vol. 188, no. 757, March 1975, p. 47, N1 C75 OVERSIZE (YCBA) [YCBA]

Cassandra Albinson, The worlds of Francis Wheatley, Yale Center for British Art, [New Haven, 2005, inside cover, V 1612 [ORBIS]

Collector's Questions, Destroyed in the Blitz , Country Life, vol. 133, February 21, 1963, p. 362, Uz fe60 C83 133:1 OVERSIZE (LSF) [ORBIS]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 244-245, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Ellen G. D'Oench, The Conversation Piece: Arthur Devis & his contemporaries, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1980, pp. 28, 75, cat. no. 62, NJ18 D5151 D64 OVERSIZE [ORBIS]

Frank Davis, Artist with a Flattering Brush, Country Life, vol. 157, June 19, 1975, p. 1612, S3 C68 157:3 OVERSIZE [ORBIS]

Exhibition of the works by the Old Masters and by deceased masters of the British School including a selection from the works of Joseph Wright (of Derby), A.R.A., and a Collection of Water-Colour Drawings by Joseph M.W. Turner, R.A. Winter Exhibition 17th, , Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1886, p. 5, no. 2, Fiche B122 [ORBIS]

Kate Retford, The Conversation Piece Making Modern Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2017, p. 227, fig. 173, ND1314.4 .R48 2017 (LC) Oversize (YCBA) [YCBA]

Sotheby Parke Bernet, [ Front Matter ] : Sotheby Parke Bernet : World Record Prices-1975, , Burlington Magazine, vol. 118, February 1976, pp. iii, vii, N1 B87 118:1 OVERSIZE [ORBIS]

Sotheby's, Advertisement : Sotheby's Wednesday, 26th March, 1975, at 11am and 2.30 pm : Fine seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century paintings, drawings and watercolours, , Burlington Magazine, vol. 117, March 1975, pp. xiv, xlviii, N1 B37 117:1 OVERSIZE [ORBIS]

Sotheby's, Advertisement, Sotheby's : Fine Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Ninteenth Century Paintings, Drawings and Watercolours , Country Life, vol. 157, March 6, 1975, suppliment p. 43, S3 C68 157:2 OVERSIZE [ORBIS]

Sotheby's, Sotheby's sale catalogue : Fine Seventeenth, Eighteenth, and Nineteenth Century English paintings, drawings and watercolours : 26 March 1975, Sotheby's, London, March 26, 1975, pp. 24-25, lot 50, Auction Catalogues [ORBIS]

Mary Webster, Francis Wheatley, Paul Mellon Foundation for British Art, London, 1970, pp. 123-124, no. 22, NJ18 W56 W43 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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