Paper: 38.6 x 27.4 cm; mount: 63 x 51.5 cm
Lebas’ print reproduces ‘The Morning Toilette’, painted by Chardin (1669-1779) in 1741.
Many of Chardin’s pictures were of domestic interiors, scenes of childhood and maternal love, all of which were fashionable with 18th-century French audiences. Here, a young girl glances into a mirror. The mother slips a pin into the ribbon on her daughter’s bonnet in preparation to go out. A fur-lined muff les on the stool alongside a Bible, which indicates that their destination is church. The extinguished candle and trailing smoke refer to the passing of time and, perhaps, the inevitable loss of the girl’s innocence.
Purchased 1939 (No. 39.6)