Conversation pieces are small-scale group portraits mainly painted in Britain in the 1720s. People in the portrait are portrayed sharing common activities such as hunts, meals, or musical parties. Dogs and/or horses are also frequently featured. Arthur Devis was a painter famous for his conversation pieces. Conversation pieces, sometimes called "Conversation Portraits", typically depict elegant social gathering. The picture tends to portray details of extravagances.
A conversation piece can also be an object that is interesting enough to spark conversation about it. They provide a stimulus for prop-based conversation openers.
- Mario Praz, Conversation Pieces: A Survey of the Informal Group Portrait in Europe and America (University Park and London: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1971)