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Creator:
Nathaniel Dance RA, 1735–1811, British
Title:

James Grant of Grant, John Mytton, the Hon. Thomas Robinson, and Thomas Wynne

Former Title(s):

A Conversation Piece in Rome: James Grant, Mr. Mytton, the Hon. Thomas Robinson, and Mr. Wynne [as published in 1985 YCBA Concise Catalogue]

A Conversation Piece in Rome: James Grant, Mr. Mytton, the Hon. Thomas Robinson, and Mr. Wynne, c.1760

Conversation Piece painted in Rome

A Conversation Piece in Rome

Date:
ca. 1760
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Support (PTG): 38 5/8 x 48 3/4 inches (98.1 x 123.8 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Label on verso, upper left: “35 | Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, R.A. (1735-1811) | [italics] A Conversation Piece: James Grant, Mr. Mytton, the Hon. | Thomas Robinson and Mr. Wynne. Ca. 1760. | [non italics] Oil on canvas.”; upper center: “Thos. Agnew & Sons Ltd. | No. 19279 | Fine Art Publishers [logo] To H.M. The King | London, | 43, Old Bond Street, | Piccadilly, W.”; upper center: “Tate Gallery Millbank London SW1P 4RG Tel: 071-887 8000 Fax: 071-887 8007 | Grand Tour: The Lure of Italy in the 18th Century | 10 October 1996 - 5 January 1997 | Cat. No.:14 | Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland | James Grant, John Mytton, Thomas Robinson and Thomas | Wynne in front of the Colosseum in Rome circa 1760 | Oil on canvas 98.1 x 123.9 | Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection”; upper right: “Pitt & Scott Ltd | London | D [handwritten] 3437 | Paul Mellon | [typed] 5193”

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1976.7.19
Classification:
Paintings
Collection:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
amphora | Classical | coliseums | conversation piece | costume | dogs (animals) | drawing | Grand Tour | Grand Tour | group portrait | men | plans | portrait | relief | Roman | ruins | temple | travel | urn | vase
Associated Places:
Colosseum | Italy | Rome | Temple of Jupiter Stator
Associated People:
Jupiter
Robinson, Thomas, second Baron Grantham (1738–1786), diplomatist
Wynne, Thomas (1736-1807), later Baron Newborough
Grant, Sir James, of Grant, eighth baronet (1738–1811), agricultural improver and politician
Mytton, John [Jack] (1796–1834), sportsman and eccentric
Access:
On view
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:260
Export:
XML

Nathaniel Dance was based in Rome from 1754 to 1766. It was there that he painted four versions of this painting, one for each of the young Grand Tourists depicted. They are (from left to right) the Scottish heir to a baronetcy and clan chiefdom James Grant of Grant (1738–1811); the gentleman John Mytton of Halston, Shropshire (d. 1784); the Honorable Thomas Robinson (1738–1786), the son and heir of the diplomat Lord Grantham (and a friend of the artist Benjamin West); and, finally, Thomas Wynn (1736– 1807), possibly the younger half-brother of the wealthy baronet Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn. Robinson holds a print of the elevation of the Temple of Jupiter Stator in Rome, while the Colosseum, functioning, as it does in Pompeo Batoni’s portrait of Lord Charlemont, as an obvious signifier of the sitters’ presence in Rome, is visible behind the figures on the left.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Lester Borley, The Grand tour and its influence on architecture, artistic taste and patronage, a series of essays derived from a conference held in Edinburgh in conjunction with the Royal Society of Edinburgh in September 2007 , Europa Nostra UK, Great Britain, 2008, pp. 85-6, DA47.9.I8 G73 2008

British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, pp. 256, 261, pl. IV, N5220 M552 A7 1977 OVERSIZE (YCBA) Published as April 1977 issue of Apollo; all of the articles may also be found in bound Apollo Volume [N1 A54 105:2 +]

Duncan Bull, Classic ground, British artists and the landscape of Italy, 1740-1830 , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1981, pp. 45-46, no. 54, ND1354.4 B85 (YCBA)

Brendan Cassidy, Alexander Cozens and the patronage of the Grant family, with a recipe for varnish and a treatise on landscape , British Art Journal, vol. 12, no. 3, 2011-2012, N6761 B74 + OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Christie's Sale Catalogue : 20 June 1969., Christie's, 1969, p. 40, no. 113, Sales Catalogues (YCBA)

Malcolm Cormack, A Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 80-81, N590.2 A83 (YCBA)

Frederick A. Den Broeder, The academy of Europe, Rome in the 18th century (catalogue of exhibition) October 13-November 21, 1973, the William Benton Museum of Art, the University of Connecticut. , University of Connecticut Foundation, Storrs, 1973, p. 111, no, 109, N6920 D45 (YCBA)

Richard Dorment, British painting in the Philadelphia Museum of Art : From the Seventeenth Through the Nineteenth Century, , Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, 1986, ND466 P47 1968 (YCBA)

Ralph Edwards, Georgian Conversation Pictures, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, pp. 256, 261, pl. IV, N1 A54 105:2 + (YCBA) Another copy of this article may be found in a separately bound and catalogued copy of this issue located on the Mellon Shelf [call number : N5220 M552 A7 1977 + (YCBA)]

John Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh and Rome, J. Murray, London, 1962, p. 370, NJ18 Ad3 F54 1962 (YCBA)

Brinsley Ford, A Portrait Group by Gavin Hamilton, Burlington Magazine, vol. 97, no. 633, December 1955, pp. 375-76, N1 B87 + OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Grand tour, il fascino dell'Italia nel XVIII secolo , Skira editore, Milano, 1997, pp. 57-59, N8214.5 I8 G716 1997 + (SML)

Loyd Grossman, Benjamin West and the struggle to be modern, Merrell, London: New York, 2015, pp. 71, 73, fig. 29, NJ18.W52 G76 2015 (YCBA)

Francis Haskell, Taste and the Antique : The Lure of Classical Sculpture, 1500-1900, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1981, p. 195, NB85 H34 (YCBA)

Christopher Hibbert, The Grand Tour, Thames Methuen, London, 1987, p. 156, fig. 82, D907 H54 1987 (YCBA)

James Grant, John Mytton, Thomas Robinson and Thomas Wynn in front of the Colosseum in Rome, Art Reproduction , FMR, no. 84, February 1997, pp. 65-66, N1 F163 (HAAS)

Jonathan Keates, Token Sprigs, TLS, the Times Literary Supplement, Issue No. 4406, September 11, 1987, p.989, Film S748 (SML) Aso Available Online in TLS Historical Archive

Lowell Libson Ltd : British Art : 2016, Lowell Libson Ltd., 2016, pp. 18, 21, Dealer Cat Lowell Libson 2016 (YCBA)

Christopher Neve, When in Rome, Do as the English Do: Nathaniel Dance, Country Life, vol. 161, June 1977, pp. 1800-1801, fig. 1, S3 C68A + (YCBA)

Paul Mellon's Legacy, a passion for British art. [large print labels] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, v.3, N5220 M552 +P381 2007, Mellon Shelf (YCBA)

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Checklist of paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1965, p. 16, N685 A26 (YCBA)

J. H. Plumb, The pursuit of happiness : a view of life in Georgian England : an exhibition selected from the Paul Mellon collection, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1977, p. 37; p. 84, no. 35, fig. 35, N6766 Y34 1977 (YCBA)

Mario Praz, Conversation Pieces : A Survey of the Informal Group Portrait in Europe and America, , Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, University Park, 1971, p. 254, pl. 294, ND1304 +P713 Oversize (YCBA)

Jules D. Prown, Art as Evidence : Writings on Art and Material Culture, , Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 2001, pp. 102-03;, N6507 P745 2001 (YCBA)

Jules D. Prown, Benjamin West and the Use of Antiquity, American Art Journal, vol. 10, Summer 1996, p. 33, fig. 4, N6505 S655 (HAAS)

Jules D. Prown, Benjamin West and the Use of Antiquity, American Art Journal, vol. 10, Summer 1996, p. 33, fig. 4, available online via JSTOR

Kate Retford, The Conversation Piece Making Modern Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2017, p. 268, fig. 200, ND1314.4 .R48 2017 (LC) Oversize (YCBA)

Aileen Ribeiro, The visual history of costume, B.T. Batsford, London, 1989, p. 148, no. 112, GT510 R52 1982 (YCBA)

David Sellin, Nathaniel Dance: A Conversation Piece, Bulletin of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, vol. 56, Winter 1961, pp. 61-3, fig. 1 & 2, J422 P53D (SML) Available online through JStor.

Sacheverell Sitwell, Conversation pieces, a survey of English domestic portraits and their painters , B.T. Batsford, London, 1936, pp. 74, 105, no. 88, pl. 88, ND1314 S5 1936 (YCBA)

B. Skinner, Notes on Four British Artists, Burlington Magazine, v.99,no.652, July, 1957, p. 238, N1 B87 + (YCBA)

B. Skinner, Some Aspects of the Work of Nathaniel Dance in Rome, Burlington Magazine, v. 101,no.678-79, Sep-Oct, 1959, pp. 346-9, N1 B87 + (YCBA)

Robert C. Smith, The Ruins of Rome, Expedition: The Bulletin of the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, vol. 3, Fall 1960, pp. 29-30, GN1 +E86 Oversize (LSF)

Roy C. Strong, The British portrait, 1660-1960, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1991, pp. 186, 204, pl. 186, ND1314 B743 1991 (YCBA)

Denys Sutton, Aspects of British Collecting Part II: VIII From Rome to Naples, Apollo, v. 116, no. 250, December 1982, p. 410, fig. 12, N1 A54 + (YCBA)

Andrea Busiri Vici, Ritratti di N. Dance tra Ruderi e Salotti, Capitolium, vol. 40, July/August 1965, pp. 387, 391n11, DG803 +C36 Oversize (SML)

Corlette Rossiter Walker, The Anglo-American artist in Italy, 1750-1820, University Art Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, 7 March through 9 May 1982 , University Art Museum, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, 1982, no. 17, N6917 W35 (YCBA)

Ellis Waterhouse, Dictionary of British 18th Century Painters in Oils and Crayons, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1981, pp. 99-100, ND466 +W38 Oversize (YCBA)

John Woodward, British painting, a picture history , Vista Books, London, 1962, p. 56, ND464 W66 1962 (YCBA)


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