PERSONAL BRANDING in 18C - GARDEN Conversation Pieces
Johann Zoffany, (1733-1810) The Drummond Family. 1769
Since the mid-20C, personal branding or self-packaging has described a burgeoning process of attempting to establish a prescribed image or impression in the minds of others about an individual or a family. With no instant & far-reaching social media or digitally-aided forms of disclosure in the 18C, that wasn't so easy. But that kind of perception could be reinforced through Conversation Piece portraits. Pioneered by William Hogarth (1697-1764) & Philip Mercier (1689-1760) in the early 18C, & continued by Arthur Devis (1712-1787), George Stubbs (1724-1806), Johan Zoffany (1733-1810) & others, the Conversation Piece was a new form of portraiture, depicting groups of traditional & aspiring gentry often in country house garden landscape settings.
A growing, affluent middle class was emerging, as Britain's colonial empire prospered in the 17C & 18C, & its Industrial Revolution began. The dissolution of England's monasteries in the 1530s had led to new land...
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