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The Talman Family Group

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The Talman Family Group

by Giuseppe Grisoni
oil on canvas, 1718-1719
40 3/8 in. x 28 1/2 in. (1024 mm x 724 mm)
Purchased, 1985
Primary Collection
NPG 5781

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  • Giuseppe Grisoni (1699-1769), Artist. Artist or producer associated with 3 portraits.

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Painted around 1718, Giuseppe Grisoni's portrait of the Talman Family is a strange combination of old and new styles. The foreground is like a conversation piece, the type of portrait that was fashionable for group portraits from the 1730s. The background, however, with its allegorical subtext and mythological characters, is typically Baroque - a continental style that was rarely used in British portraits by the eighteenth century.

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Current affairs

Charles Spencer, 3rd Earl of Sunderland becomes first Lord of the Treasury, the most influential political post in Britain at this time.
Transportation Act creates the punishment of penal transportation as an alternative to the death penalty.
Marrow Controversy; an ecclesiastical dispute breaks out in Scotland over the doctrine of atonement.

Art and science

Proper motion of the stars is discovered by Astronomer Royal Edmond Halley.
Inventor James Puckle patents an early form of machine gun known as the Puckle Gun.


Charles XII of Sweden dies in mysterious circumstances and is succeeded by his sister Ulrika Eleonora.
Quadruple Alliance formed as the Holy Roman Empire joins the Triple Alliance to prevent the Spanish changing the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht. War of the Quadruple Alliance begins against Spain until 1720. George Byng, 1st Viscount Torrington is made Admiral of the Fleet and thwarts Spanish attempts to take Sicily at the Battle of Cape Passaro.

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