From 1787 To 1800
The 18th century was a time of great change in the world of art. New styles and genres emerged, and artists began to experiment with new techniques and materials. The art of the 18th century reflected the changing times, and the growing interest in the natural world and the human form.
Elizabeth Farren (born about 1759, died 1829), Later Countess of Derby
The Irish actress Elizabeth Farren made her London debut in 1777 and soon became one of the most popular comic performers of the day.
This portrait depicts her as an elegant young woman at the height of her career, before she retired from the stage to marry her aristocratic protector.
Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and Marie Anne Lavoisier (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836)
This painting was a landmark of European portraiture.
It asserted a modern, scientifically minded couple in fashionable but simple dress.
It was excluded from the Salon of 1789 for fears it would further ignite revolutionary zeal.
Technical analysis has revealed that a first iteration excluded the scientific instruments and would have been a far more conventional portrait of a wealthy, fashionable couple of the tax-collector class.
Lavoisier was a pioneering chemist credited with the discovery of oxygen and the chemical composition of water through experiments in which his wife actively collaborated.
However, he was also involved in studies of gunpowder and a misunderstanding about his removal of this precious commodity from the Bastille in the summer of 1789 threw his alliances into question.
This mishap and his status as a tax collector (the more prosaic means by which he funded his scientific research) led him to be guillotined in 1794.
Mountainous Landscape at Vicovaro
This sketch was adapted for the background of a composite landscape painting that is dated 1797.
The sketch shows the distinctive twin campanili, or bell towers, of the church of San Pietro and the village of Vicovaro set against the surrounding hills.
The Sacrifice of Iphigenia
This oil sketch for a ceiling in Palazzo Gnudi Scagliarini in Bologna takes its subject from the Greek playwright Euripides ca.
480 - 406 BC
Agamemnon's daughter is about to be sacrificed to appease the goddess Diana, who at the climactic moment appears and substitutes a deer on the altar.
Mountainous Landscape at Tivoli
This sketch may depict the hills to the north of the road into Tivoli from Vicovaro.
The sketch is likely related to the view Denis painted of the latter town (2003.42.22) that is underscored not only by its size but by its sensibility.
Denis defines the recession of landscape elements - from the field in the foreground to the line of trees and the escarpment beyond - mostly in green tones, with contrasting pink in the sky.
This is a replica by Gainsborough of a portrait of the queen (Royal Collection) which he painted at Windsor Castle in September 1782.
The original painting is in the Royal Collection.
The painting is a replica of the original painting.
View on the Quirinal Hill, Rome
Denis set up his easel on the upper story of a palazzo on Rome's Quirinal Hill.
His intention was not merely to depict the urban topography.
Facing north by northwest, the view beckoned to be painted in the afternoon to take full advantage of the shadows that heighten the counterpoint between the curve in the cityscape and the dome of the sky.