'The Intimate Portrait: Drawings, Miniatures and Pastels from Ramsay to
Scottish National Portrait Gallery 25 October 2008-1 February 2009 British
Museum 5 March-31 May
The exhibition 'The Intimate Portrait: Drawings, Miniatures and Pastels from Ramsay to Lawrence' set out a wide range of 18th-century miniatures, drawings and pastels. Clearly Georgian society was enthusiastic about obtaining likenesses. As the title indicates the show picks up the recent interest in the concept of intimacy as a corollary to the age of sensibility, and emphasises the intimate and private nature of these objects.
This is an ambitious show with a broad and questioning premise relating to meanings of intimacy:. Intimacy can be defined in purely physical terms of the objects in question: the portable nature of highly worked miniatures or the tactile quality of the coloured pastel. Or it could be a matter of how they were viewed, in that these images were often produced for purely personal purposes to give to friends and relatives as keepsakes and, therefore, produced by artists who knew …