Dean Berkeley and his Entourage (aka the Bermuda Group)

Painter: John Smibert

Year: ca.1729-39

George Berkeley left London in 1729 to found a college in Bermuda; he and his entourage had their portrait made to commemorate their passage. The resulting painting is a conversation piece: Berkeley manages to simultaneously be well integrated in the group and set-off as a visionary. He looks heavenward to receive a message, which transmitted by him through the zigzag carpet pattern to his amanuensis on the viewer's right. It is like a divine game of telephone; My telephone, m-m-my telephone.