<< YCBA Home Yale Center for British Art Yale Center for British Art << YCBA Home

YCBA Collections Search

Arthur Devis, 1712–1787, British
John Orde, His Wife, Anne, His Eldest Son, William, and a Servant
between 1754 and 1756
Oil on canvas
Support (PTG): 37 x 37 7/8 inches (94 x 96.2 cm)

Inscribed, center right, on letter: "To: John Orde | at Mo[?]t [?]"; center left, on newspaper: "The Daily Adv[vertiser]"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
Chinese vases | fireplace | group portrait | hunting gun | leisure | letter | mantel | men | newspaper | painting (visual work) | pheasant | portrait | servant | woman
Associated People:
Orde, John (c.1704–c.1786) of East Orde and Morpeth
Orde, Anne (d. 1788), daughter of Ralph Marr of Morpeth, widow of the Revd Pye, and second wife of John Orde (c.1704–c.1786)
Orde, William
Not on view
Curatorial Comment:
<double click to display>
<double click to hide>

From the open door at the right of this painting a servant enters carrying a letter. It is addressed to John Orde (ca. 1704–ca. 1786), a landowner based in Morpeth, in northern England. Orde, seated at the far left, has been reading the Daily Advertiser. Meanwhile, Anne, his second wife, receives the gift of a pheasant from her stepson William. On the wall behind them are two further portraits of Orde family members. The mantelpiece displays fashionable blue-and-white porcelain vases exported from China. No records of the servant depicted here have survived, but the fact that Devis charged his patrons for each figure painted suggests that this young man’s inclusion was important to the Ordes. While his green and gold livery is similar to that worn by white servants in this period, his luxurious silk turban deliberately marks him out. --This text served as the label to this object in Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain, an exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art that was curated by Esther Chadwick, Meredith Gamer, and Cyra Levenson, which was on view from October 2, 2014 until December 14, 2014.
Exhibition History:
<double click to display>
<double click to hide>

Painting in England 1700-1850 - From The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon (Yale University Art Gallery, 1965-04-15 - 1965-06-20)

The Conversation Piece - Arthur Devis & His Contemporaries (Yale Center for British Art, 1980-10-01 - 1980-11-30)

The Paul Mellon Bequest : Treasures of a Lifetime (Yale Center for British Art, 2001-02-17 - 2001-04-29)

Figures of Empire: Slavery and Portraiture in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain (Yale Center for British Art, 2014-10-02 - 2014-12-14)

<double click to display>
<double click to hide>

Joseph Burke, English art 1714-1800, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1976, p. 302, pl. 80A, N6761 O9 9 (YCBA)

Figures of empire : slavery and portraiture in eighteenth-century Atlantic Britain, organized by the Yale Center for British Art and curated by Esther Chadwick and Meredith Gamer, PhD candidates in the History of Art at Yale University and Cyra Levenson , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2014, pp. 16, 42, V 2556 (YCBA)

Cyril Connolly, English Conquest in the Old Dominion, ART News, vol. 62, Summer 1963, pp. 30-3, N1 A6 OVERSIZE (HAAS)

Matthew Craske, Conversations and Chimneypieces: the imagery of the hearth in eighteenth-century English family portraiture, British Art Studies, Issue 2, Spring 2016, pages are unnumbered, fig. 4, Available Online (Orbis) http://dx.doi.org/10.17658/issn.2058-5462/issue-02/mcraske

Ellen G. D'Oench, Arthur Devis (1712-1787): master of the Georgian conversation piece, , University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1982, pp. 115-16, 391, no. 123, pl. 116, NJ18 D5151 D635 1979A (YCBA)

Ellen G. D'Oench, The Conversation Piece: Arthur Devis & his contemporaries, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1980, pp. 23-25, 60, 86, cat. no. 31; AD list no. 123, col. pl. 31, NJ18 D5151 D64 OVERSIZE

Peter DeBolla, Education of the Eye, Painting, Landscape, and Architecture in Eighteenth-Century Britain , Stanford University Press, Stanford, 2003, p. 58, 60, 61, Fig. 12, YCBA BH221. G7 D4 2003

Ralph Edwards, Georgian Conversation Pictures, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, p. 259, fig. 7, 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)]

Judy Egerton, British Sporting and Animal Paintings 1655-1867: A Catalogue, The Paul Mellon Collection , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, pp. 59-60, no. 60, pl. 21, ND1383 G7 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Judy Egerton, British sporting and animal drawings c.1500-1850: A Catalogue, The Paul Mellon Collection , Tate Publishing, London, 1978, p. 59, NC780 B75 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Sebastian Mitchell, James Thomson's picture collection and British history painting, Journal of the History of Collections, 2011, p. 6, V 2208 (YCBA) Full Text also Available on line (ORBIS)

Kate Retford, The Conversation Piece Making Modern Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2017, p. 236, fig. 180, ND1314.4 .R48 2017 (LC) Oversize (YCBA)

Painting in England 1700-1850 from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, The Royal Academy of Arts Winter Exhibition 1964-65., , Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK, 1964, p.55 (v.1), no. 203, pl. 19, ND466 R68 1964/65 (YCBA) Also available on Microfiche: Fiche B214 (YCBA)

Charles Saumarez Smith, Eighteenth-century decoration: design and the domestic interior in England, , Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1993, pp. 200-01, no. 195, NK2043 A1 S28 1993 (YCBA)

David H. Solkin, Art in Britain 1660-1815, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2015, pp. 113-14, fig. 115, N6766 S65 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Roy C. Strong, The British portrait, 1660-1960, Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1991, pp. 142, 154, col. pl. 24, ND1314 B743 1991 (YCBA)

Painting in England 1700-1850, collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon. , Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, 1963, p. 118 (v.1), no. 223, pl. 72, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA)

James Walvin, The slave trade, Thames & Hudson, New York, 2011, p. 81, HT985 .W358 2011 (YCBA)

Malcolm Warner, The Paul Mellon Bequest : treasures of a lifetime, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2001, p.49, N5247 M385 P28 2001 (YCBA)

Alice Winchester, English Conversation Pieces from the Mellon Collection, Antiques, vol. 83, April 1963, p. 445, NK1125 A3 v. 83 OVERSIZE (HAAS)

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)

Slavery and portraiture in 18th-century Atlantic Britain, [ Website ] , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2015, Available Online http://interactive.britishart.yale.edu/slavery-and-portraiture/279/an-unknown-man-perhaps-charles-goring-of-wiston-1744-1829-out-shooting-with-his-servant

Yale University Art Gallery, Painting in England, 1700-1850, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, [exhibition at] Yale University Art Gallery, April 15-June 20, 1965. , vol. 1, W. Clowes and sons, New Haven, 1965, p. 21 (v.1), no. 74, pl. 19, ND466 Y35 (YCBA)

British Art at Yale, Apollo, v.105, no. 182, April 1977, p. 259, fig. 7, 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 +]

If you have information about this object that may be of assistance please contact us.