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"Family Fortunes: Paintings on Tour from the National Gallery, London"
2001-04-07 until 2001-06-24
Bolton Museum and Art Gallery
Bolton, , UK United Kingdom

The 20 paintings on show, including works by Degas, Gainsborough, Hals, Hogarth and Stubbs, provide a fascinating insight into the depiction of the family, with important loans to complement the National Gallery's own works.

'Family Fortunes' focuses attention on shifting attitudes towards the family from the 16th century to the present day. For example, the sentimental appreciation of children and childish pleasures which emerged in the 18th century is reflected in three English masterpieces: Gainsborough's 'The Painter's Daughters chasing a Butterfly', Hogarth's 'Graham Children' and Reynolds's portrait of 'Lady Cockburn and her Three Eldest Sons'.

The exhibition also investigates how painters have sought visual means to represent dynastic succession, the continued significance of absent ancestors or the hopes for future generations - all essential elements of a family's fortune. It includes depictions of families of every type from aristocratic portraits to the peasant families of Jan Steen and the Le Nain brothers.

As part of the National Gallery's commitment to making its masterpieces as widely available as possible, this exhibition is currently on tour. Seen earlier this year at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, the exhibition (made possible by a grant of 97,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund) now travels to Bolton.

IMAGE:
Le Nain,
A Woman and Five Children, 1642.
The National Gallery, London


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