11 Nov 2004 All day CRASSH


CRASSH, 17 Mill Lane, Cambridge, CB2 1RX

Conversations @ CRASSH are designed to explore the nature of conversation by having a conversation and by probing the idea of conversation itself.

Portraits and Conversation
Many people talk about the subjects of portraits as if they were actual acquaintances, friends, even family members. This idea that a visual representation provides insights into the person in question is long-established and widely held. This assumption provides an opportunity to reflect on a popular form of art, on conversation and on tacit assumptions about the ways in which individuals know, react to and judge each other. It may be worth having special specific examples in mind. In the Fitzwilliam, for example, there is a bust of Albert Einstein by Sir Jacob Epstein, and two portraits by Picasso in the same room. In the adjoining room is a portrait of the novelist Wilkie Collins, by Charles Allston Collins. In the large first-floor gallery, you may care to look at Hans Eworth's portrait of Mary I, van Dyck's depiction of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Stafford, noting that a portrait of this sitter's children by the same painter is also in the room; Pompeo Batoni's Charles, 7th Earl of Northampton, and Johann Zoffany's self-portrait with his family. These are diverse in terms of period, setting and style. This event is designed not only to explore a distinctively conversation form of art, but since it involves gesture, bodily posture and facial expression, it has wide interest beyond 'art'.


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk