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Le Déjeuné

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    France (printed and published)

  • Date:

    1744 (printed)
    1739 (painting)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Boucher, François (artist)
    Lépicié, François Bernard, born 1698 - died 1755 (printer and publisher)
    Surugue, Louis, born 1686 - died 1762 (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching and engraving

  • Credit Line:

    Bryan Bequest

  • Museum number:

    E.386-1905

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case F, shelf 2, box B

This print, advertised in the newspaper Mercure de France in 1744, was made by the printmaker Bernard Lépicié from a painting of 1739 by François Boucher, which is now in the Louvre, Paris.

Boucher's paintings were interesting for their wealth of interior detail showing the latest styles. The room in which this fashionable pair of ladies take their breakfast is decorated in the Rococo style, fashionable in the middle years of the eighteenth century. Some details, such as the painted hanging shelves and the Chinese figurine seem to be in the also contemporary Chinoiserie style. Knowledge of Boucher's paintings was disseminated through large prints such as this, which, showing the customs and interiors of fashionable people of Paris, served an aspirational purpose for their well-off buyers.

The ladies are taking coffee for breakfast and seem to be attempting to feed the drink to their young children. Though coffee drinking had by this time been practiced in Europe for about a century, by 1700, the high prices and relative shortage of coffee grown in Mocha in the Yemen, prompted the Dutch East India Company to establish and exploit - along with the local regents - coffee plantations in areas such as Java, Indonesia and Jamaica and Barbados. This enabled the price of coffee to reduce considerably and become affordable to a larger number of European consumers.

Physical description

Two fashionable ladies take a breakfast of coffee seated by a window at a low table laid with a decorated ceramic coffee set. One has her daughter beside her and tries to feed her coffee with a spoon. The other, also holding a spoon, turns towards her child (boy?), left, who is playing with a wheeled panier horse laid on a cushion on a stool. A female doll is propped up against the stool. A male servant handles a silver coffee pot. On the table are various serving bowls and cups. Setting is an ornately decorated room with large mantle mirror with rococo decorated surround surmounted by a shell motif, wall-mounted rococo candle sconces on either side, a wall-mounted clock in rococo style and on either side also two wall-mounted small shelves in possible Chinoiserie style?; one contains a ceramic teapot, a figurine (Chinese?), and two leather-bound books.

Place of Origin

France (printed and published)

Date

1744 (printed)
1739 (painting)

Artist/maker

Boucher, François (artist)
Lépicié, François Bernard, born 1698 - died 1755 (printer and publisher)
Surugue, Louis, born 1686 - died 1762 (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Etching and engraving

Marks and inscriptions

LE DÉJEUNÉ
Title below image, centre

Gravé a l'eau forte par Lépicié.
Lower right below image

Peint par F. Boucher.
Lower left below image.

Caffé charmant ta liqueur agréable / De Bacchus calme les accès / Ton feu divin dissipe de la table / Et les dégoûts et les excès. / Lépicié
Poem in two columns of two lines in lower margin

a Paris chez Lepicié graveur du Roi au coin de l'Abreuvoir du Quay des Orfevres. / Et chez L. Surugue aussi graveur du Roi rue des Noyers vis a vis le mur de S. Yves. A.P.D.R
Lower margin centred

Dimensions

Height: 385 mm trimmed to, Width: 275 mm trimmed to, Height: 323 mm image, Width: 258 mm image

Object history note

From 'F.R. Bryan Esq.' (Acccessions Register)
FR Bryan bequest ca 1905 - Nominal file number MA/1/B3180

Descriptive line

Le Déjeuné, etching and engraving after François Boucher, by Bernard Lépicié; French, 1744.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Le Blanc, Charles. Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes. Paris. Émile Bouillon. 1854-1888. vol. 2, no.42.

Roux, Marcel et al. Inventaire du fonds français; graveurs du dix-huitième siècle. Paris. Bibliothèque nationale. 1930-1977, v. 14.
Mercure de France. August, 1744, p.1853.
Wills, John E., Jr. 'European consumption and Asian production in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries', in Brewer, John, and Porter, Roy (Eds). Consumption and the World of Goods. London. Routledge. 1993, Ch. 6, p. 133-147.

Materials

Printing ink; Paper

Techniques

Etching; Engraving

Subjects depicted

Window; Coffee table; Coffee cups; Toys; Chairs; Girl; Ornament; Servant; Coffee pot; Doll; Costume; Sconces; Mirror; Wooden horse; Children; Shelves; Drapes; Books; Figurine; Clock; Footstool; Women

Categories

Prints; Food vessels & Tableware; Drinking; Children & Childhood; Entertainment & Leisure; Interiors

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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