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Below Stairs

Below Stairs cover

248 x 196mm, 212 pages
160 illustrations, 130 in colour
ISBN 1 85514 509 X
£25 (paperback)
Published October 2003

ISBN 1 85514 512 X
£35 (hardback) - NPG exclusive

National Portrait Gallery, London
16 October 2003 - 11 January 2004
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
11 February - 31 May 2004

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Out of print

Below Stairs
400 Years of Servants' Portraits

Giles Waterfield
Anne French
Foreword by Julian Fellowes
With an essay by Matthew Craske

Below Stairs is the first study of servant portraiture in Britain and is richly illustrated with works by Hogarth, Gainsborough and Stubbs. Continuing the examination of traditional domestic life explored in the films Gosford Park and Remains of the Day, Below Stairs is also the subject of a BBC Four documentary. Featuring portraits of all ranks of servant the book illustrates the shifting organisation of households through the centuries, and the highly complex relationships between employers and employees.

Traditionally, portraiture in Britain has concentrated on recording the upper classes and the celebrated. Instead, Below Stairs explores the representation of the servant, be it in a grand or modest household, in the country or in the town, at the royal courts or at colleges and clubs. This groundbreaking selection of paintings and photographs tells a fascinating story about power, class and human relationships spanning over 400 years of social and economic history.

Giles Waterfield is an independent fine art curator, art historian and novelist. A former director of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, he is currently Director of the Attingham Summer School and Royal Collection Studies.

Anne French is a freelance art historian and curator. She was previously Keeper of Fine Art at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and is currently Acting Curator at Kenwood House, London.

Julian Fellowes is an actor and writer. He recently won a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Gosford Park.

Matthew Craske is a Cultural Historian at the University of Leicester.