Placing faces

The portrait and the English country house in the long eighteenth century
Perry, Gill
Retford, Kate
Vibert, Jordan
Date published: 
October 2013

This book explores the rich but understudied relationship between English country houses and the portraits they contain. It features essays by well-known scholars such as Alison Yarrington, Gill Perry, Kate Retford, Harriet Guest, Emma Barker and Desmond Shawe-Taylor. Works discussed include grand portraits, intimate pastels and imposing sculptures. Moving between residences as diverse as Stowe, Althorp Park, the Vache, Chatsworth, Knole and Windsor Castle, it unpicks the significance of various spaces – the closet, the gallery, the library – and the ways in which portraiture interacted with those environments. It explores questions around gender, investigating narratives of family and kinship in portraits of women as wives and daughters, but also as mistresses and celebrities. It also interrogates representations of military heroes in order to explore the wider, complex ties between these families, their houses, and imperial conflict. This book will be essential reading for all those interested in eighteenth-century studies, especially for those studying portraiture and country houses.