The J. Paul Getty Museum

John, Fourteenth Lord Willoughby de Broke, and His Family

Object Details


John, Fourteenth Lord Willoughby de Broke, and His Family


Johann Zoffany (German, 1733 - 1810)




England (Place Created)


about 1766


Oil on canvas

Object Number:



101.9 × 127.3 cm (40 1/8 × 50 1/8 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

John Peyto-Verney, fourteenth Lord Willoughby de Broke, and his wife, Lady Louisa North, appear about to take tea with their three young children. She holds her daughter, who stands on the table attempting a first step. In high spirits, one son enters on the right pulling a bright red toy horse. Another son attempts to take a piece of buttered bread from the table while receiving an admonishing gesture from his father. Johann Zoffany, with his ability to portray lively figures interacting together in meticulous detailed settings, excelled at conversation pieces. These informal group portraits, introduced as a new genre of painting in England in the 1700s, vividly recorded the settings and social customs of the time.

Zoffany took care to include the details of the gentry's lives: Lady Louisa's shimmering light blue gown, the landscape painting above the fireplace mantel, the fine porcelain tea service, and the reflections on the highly polished silver urn. The sparse room also makes a statement about the family's social position. Only an ancient, titled family of the British ruling class would adopt the deliberate casualness of the olive-drab walls and worn carpet. The family has nonetheless displayed its wealth in their fashionable costumes.

about 1766 - 1818

John Peyto-Verney, 1738 - 1816, probably commissioned from the artist, about 1766; by inheritance to his heirs, 1816.

1816 -

Heirs of John Peyto-Verney, 1738 - 1816, by inheritance to Leopold David Verney.

by 1977

Leopold David Verney, twenty-first baron Willoughby de Broke, English, , [withdrawn, Christie, Manson, and Woods, London, June 24, 1977, lot 106.]

- 1989

Dowager Lady Willoughby de Broke [sold, Christie's, London, November 17, 1989, lot 52, to Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd.]

1989 - 1996

Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1996.

Society of Artists (1769) (identified by Horace Walpole)
  • Unknown, 1769
Loan Collection of Portraits (1903)
  • Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (Birmingham), 1903
Spring Exhibition: Illustrating Georgian England (March 29 to May 9, 1906)
  • Whitechapel Art Gallery (London), March 29 to May 9, 1906
Loan Exhibition of English Conversation Pieces (March 3 to March 30, 1930)
  • London, March 3 to March 30, 1930
Winter Exhibition of 1934 (1934)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), 1934
Tween eeuwen Engelsche kunst (July 4 to October 4, 1936)
  • Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), July 4 to October 4, 1936
European Masters of the Eighteenth Century (November 27, 1954 to February 27, 1955)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), November 27, 1954 to February 27, 1955
British Portraits (November 24, 1956 to March 3, 1957)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), November 24, 1956 to March 3, 1957
British Painting in the Eighteenth Century (1957 to 1958) (ill. p. 124)
  • Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo), 1958
Johann Zoffany [1960 - 1961] (November 5, 1960 to April 15, 1961)
  • Whitworth Art Gallery (Manchester), November 5 to November 26, 1960
  • Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (Birmingham), December 1960 to 1961
  • Art Gallery (Reading), 1961
  • Eastbourne, Towner Art Gallery, 1961
  • Art Gallery (Leicester), 1961
  • Temple Newsam House (Leeds), April 1 to April 15, 1961
English Portraits (November 1, 1972 to March 1, 1973)
  • British Council Tour (Budapest), November 1, 1972 to March 1, 1973
Johann Zoffany [1977] (January 14 to March 27, 1977)
  • National Portrait Gallery (London), January 14 to March 27, 1977
Childhood: A Loan Exhibition of Works of Art (January 2 to January 27, 1988)
  • Sotheby's (London), January 2 to January 27, 1988
Great British Paintings from American Collections: Holbein to Hockney (September 26, 2001 to May 5, 2002)
  • Huntington Art Collections (San Marino), February 3 to May 5, 2002
Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen (November 13, 2001 to February 3, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 13, 2001 to February 3, 2002
Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed (October 27, 2011 to June 10, 2012)
  • Yale Center for British Art (New Haven), October 27, 2011 to February 12, 2012

Eaton Soltis, Carol. The Art of the Peales in the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Adaptations and Innovations (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2017), p.50, fig. 2.8.

Wallis, Whitworth, and Arthur Bensley Chamberlain. Illustrated Catalogue of a Loan Collection of Portraits (Birmingham: City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, 1903), p. 57, no. 62, ill.

Spring Exhibition, exh. cat. (London: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1906), p. 74, no. 31.

Graves, Algernon. A Century of Loan Exhibitions: 1813-1912. 4 vols. (Bath: n.p., 1913), vol. 2, p. 1746, nos. 62, 31.

Manners, Lady Victoria, and George Charles Williamson.John Zoffany, R.A.: His Life and Works,1735-1810 (New York and London: John Lane,1920), pp. 153, 155.

Sassoon, Phillip. Loan Exhibition of English Conversation Pieces in Aid of the Royal Northern Hospital, exh. cat. (London: n.p., 1930), unpaginated, no. 133.

Exhibition of British Art, c. 1000-1860, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1934), p. 123, no. 291.

Sitwell, Sacheverell, and Michel Sevier.Conversation Pieces: A Survey of English Domestic Portraits and Their Painters (London: B.T. Batsford, 1936), pp. 37, 97, pl. 44.

Twee Eeuwen Engelsche Kunst, exh. cat. (Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1936), p. 78, no. 185.

Adams, Hervey. Eighteenth Century Painting in Europe (London: The Medici Society, 1948), p. 31, pl. 2.

Gwynne-Jones, Allan. Portrait Painters: European Portraits to the End of the Nineteenth Century and English Twentieth-Century Portraits (London: Phoenix House, 1950), pp. xi, 26, no. 119, ill.

European Masters of the Eighteenth Century, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1954), p. 46, no. 108.

British Portraits, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1956), p. 29, no. 360, ill.

British Painting in the Eighteenth Century, exh. cat. (Montreal: The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1957), p. 69, no. 85.

Hughes, Benard and Therle. Small Antique Furniture (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1958), p. 169.

The Arts Council. Johann Zoffany, exh. cat. (London: The Arts Council, 1960), p. 12, no. 5.

Willet, C., and Phillis Cunnington. A Picture History of English Costume (New York: Macmillan, 1960), p. 78, ill.

Webster, Mary. Johann Zoffany (Milan: Fratelli Fabri, 1966), unpaginated, no. 12, ill.

Stillman, Damie. English Painting: The Great Masters, 1730-1860 (New York: McGraw Hill, 1966), pp. 18, 40, no. 9.

Praz, Mario. Conversation Pieces: A Survey of the Informal Group Portrait in Europe and America (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1971), p. 104, no. 64.

Piper, David Warren. Angol portré kiállítás, exh. cat. (Budapest: Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, 1973), p. 38, no. 32.

Williamson, George Charles. English Conversation Pictures of the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries. Rev. ed. (New York: Hacker Art Books, 1975), p. 14, pl. 39.

Webster, Mary. Johan Zoffany, 1733-1810, exh. cat. (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1976), p. 40, no. 35.

Christie's, London. Important English Pictures. June 24, 1977, p. 78, lot 106, ill.

Stone, Lawrence. The Family, Sex and Marriage in England 1500-1800 (New York: Harper and Row, 1979), cover ill.

Penny, Nicholas, Pierre Rosenberg, et al., eds. Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1723-1792, exh. cat. (Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 1985), p. 168, under no. 26.

Penny, Nicholas, ed. Reynolds, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, with Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1986), p. 217, under no. 49, entry by David Mannings.

Jackson-Stops, Gervase. "Johann Zoffany and the Eighteenth Century Interior." The Magazine Antiques (June 1987), pp. 1272-73, pl. 8.

Childhood: A Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Works of Art, exh. cat. (London: Sotheby's, 1988), p. 45, no. 47, ill.

Christie, Manson & Woods, London. Important British Pictures. November 17, 1989, pp. 67-68, lot 52, ill.

Ayers, John, Oliver Impey, et al. Porcelain for Palaces: The Fashion for Japan in Europe, 1650-1750, exh. Cat. (London: The Oriental Ceramic Society, 1990), pp. 33-34, ill.

Westman, Annabel. "English Window Curtains in the Eighteenth Century," The Magazine Antiques (June 1990), p. 1417, pl. 11.

Kevill-Davies, Sally. Yesterday's Children: The Antiques and History of Childcare (n.p.: Antique Collectors' Club, 1991), p. 153, ill.

Watson, Peter. From Manet to Manhattan: The Rise of the Modern Art Market (London: Vintage, 1992), p. 451.

Holdsworth, Sara, Joan Crossley, et al. Innocence and Experience: Images of Children in Pritish Art from 1600 to the Present, exh. cat. (Manchester: Manchester City Art Galleries, 1992), p. 14, ill.

Moncrieff, Elspeth. "Sale-ing through the Centuries." The Art Quarterly of The National Art Collections Fund, no. 10 (Summer 1992), p. 38.

Smith, Charles Saumarez. Eighteenth-century Decoration: Design and the Domestic Interior in England (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1993), pp. 260-61, ill.

Sayer, Michael. The Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and Their Collections, 1979-1992. Hugh Massingberd, ed. (Norwich: Michael Russell, 1993), p. 140.

Scarisbrick, Diana. Jewellery in Britain, 1066-1837 (Norwich: Michael Russell, 1994), pp. 281-82, ill.

Steward, James Christen. The New Child: British Art and the Origins of Modern Childhood, 1730-1830, exh. cat. (Berkeley: University Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley,1995), p. 106, 192, pl. 50.

Mitchell, Paul, and Lynn Roberts. Frameworks: Form, Function and Ornament in European Portrait Frames (London: P. Mitchell, 1996), pp. 215, 216, ill.

Warner, Malcolm, Susan Wise, et al. French and British Paintings from 1600 to 1800: A Catalogue of the Collection. Larry J. Feinberg and Martha Wolff, eds. (Princeton: The Art Institute of Chicago with Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 194.

Beard, Geoffrey. Upholsterers and Interior Furnishing in England, 1530-1840 (New Haven: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts with Yale University Press, 1997), p. 240, no. 299, ill.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 138, ill.

Gribbon, Deborah. "Selected Acquisitions Made by the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995-97." Burlington Magazine 139, no. 1136 (November 1997), p. 828, ill.

Wood, Christopher. The Great Art Boom, 1970-1997 (Surrey: Art Sales Index, 1997), pp. 20, 291, no. 64.

Bearman, Robert, ed. Compton Verney: A History of the House and Its Owners (Stratford-upon-Avon: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, 2000), p. 38, ill.

Warner, Malcolm, et al. Great British Paintings from American Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, with Yale University Press, 2001), pp. 108-9, no. 25, ill.

Stafford, Barbara Maria, and Frances Terpak, eds. Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2001), pp. 32, 374, no. 117.

Tea Drinking in the West, exh. cat. (Nagoya: Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts, 2001), p. 60, ill.

Sotheby's, London. The Dutton Family by John Zoffany. June 14, 2001, pp. 12, 14, ill.

Wilton, Andrew. Five Centuries of British Painting: From Holbein to Hodgkin (London: Thames and Hudson, 2001), p. 90, ill.

Retford, Kate. "Sensibility and Genealogy in the Eighteenth-Century Family Portrait: The Collection at Kedleston Hall." The Historical Journal 46, no. 3 (September 2003), p. 539, fig. 4.

Stansky, Peter. Sassoon: The World of Philip and Sybil (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2003), p. 197.

The Compton Verney House Trust. Compton Verney Guidebook (Warwickshire: Compton Verney, 2004), pp. 8, 30.

Jenkins, Susan. Compton Verney: Handbook (Warwickshire: Compton Verney, 2004), p. 15, fig. 7.

Clifford, Helen. Silver in London: The Parker and Wakelin Partnership 1760-1776 (New Haven: Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture with Yale University Press, 2004), pp. 4-6, ill.

Bendiner, Kenneth. Food in Painting from the Renaissance to the Present (London: Reaktion Books, 2004), pp. 201, 202, ill.

Bilski, Emily, Emily Braun, et al. Jewish Women and Their Salons: The Power of Conversations, exh. cat. (New Haven: The Jewish Museum, 2005), pp. 8-9, fig. 5.

Pinches Sylvia.Compton Verney, Historical Guide: The House, the Grounds, the Owners (Compton Verney: The Compton Verney House Trust, 2005), p. 5, ill.

Edgcumbe, Richard. Review of Silver in London: The Parker and Wakelin Parnership 1760-1776. Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies 28, no. 2 (September 2005), p. 289.

Retford, Kate. The Art of Domestic Life: Family Portraiture in Eighteenth-century England (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2006), pp. 115-21.

Lerche, Christine. Painted Politeness: Privat und öffentliche Selbstdarstellung im Conversation Piece des Johann Zoffany (Weimar: Verlag und Datenbank für Geisteswissenschaften, 2006), pp. 360-62.

Tarabra, Daniela. European Art of the Eighteenth Century. Rosanna M. Giammanco Frongia, trans. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006), p. 370, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 126, ill.

Retford, Kate. "From the Interior to Interiority: The Conversation Piece in Georgian England." Journal of Design History 20, no. 4 (2007), p. 300, fig. 6.

Cohen, Ada, and Jeremy B. Rutter, eds. Constructions of Childhood in Ancient Greece and Italy (Athens: The American School of Classical Studies, 2007), pp. 10, 11, ill.

Fletcher, Anthony. Growing up in England: The Experience of Childhood, 1600-1914 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2008), p. 133.

Malaguzzi, Silvia. Food and Feasting in Art. Brian Phillips, trans. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2008), p. 310, ill.

Shawe-Taylor, Desmond. The Conversation Piece: Scenes of Fashionable Life (London: Royal Collections Enterprises, 2009), pp. 7-8, fig. 3.

Kerhervé, Alain, ed. Polite Letters: The Correspondence of Mary Delany (1700-1788) and Francis North, Lord Guilford (1704-1790) (Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009), p. 85, ill.

Postle, Martin, ed. Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed, exh. cat. (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, with Yale University Press, 2011), pp. 252-53, no. 72, ill., entry by Kate Retford.

Postle, Martin. "Johan Zoffany: An Artist Abroad." In Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed, exh. cat. (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, with Yale University Press, 2011), p. 29.

Retford, Kate. "'Peculiarly happy at taking Likenesses': Zoffany & British Portraiture." In Johan Zoffany RA: Society Observed, exh. cat. (New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, with Yale University Press, 2011), p. 122.

Allard, Sébastien, Nadeije Laneyrie-Dagen, and Emmanuel Pernoud. L'Enfant dans la peinture (Paris: Citadelles & Mazenod, 2011), pp. 204-6, fig. 175.

Albinson, Cassandra. "Debt and Drawing: Thomas Lawrence's Family Portraits." Cantor Arts Center Journal 7 (2010-2011), p. 57, fig. 11.

Manca, Joseph. C. "'Peale Painted This in London 1768' Sources, Beauty and Likeness in Boy with a Toy Horse." American Art Smithonian American Art Museum (Fall 2015), p. 95, fig. 7.

Retford, Kate. The Conversation Piece: Making Modern Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2017), pp. 4, 176, 202, 206, 218, 322, fig. 3.

Cohen, Ada. "What is Art History?" In What are the Arts and Sciences? [a guide for the curious]. Dan Rockmore, ed. (Hanover: Dartmouth College Press, 2017), pp. 34-36, ill. p. 35, fig. 2.

Lloyd, Stephen. “Group Dynamics" [Review of "The Conversation Piece: Making Modern Art in Eighteenth-Century Britain by Kate Retford"]. Apollo 187, no. 661 (February 2018), pp. 90-91, fig. 2.

Education Resources
Education Resources

Education Resource




All in the Family

Lesson in which students analyze a family portrait, create sculptures of their family and create a diorama of a room

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts


Three/Five-Part Lesson

Language through Art (Beginning)

Lesson in which students study artwork related to families and practice vocabulary related to people and families.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; ESL (English as a Second Language)

K-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12; Adult Learners

Single Class Lesson