Compare Liotard's Pastel and Oils at the National Gallery

November 17 2023

Image of Compare Liotard's Pastel and Oils at the National Gallery

Picture: The National Gallery, London

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The National Gallery in London have just opened a small exhibition dedicated to reuniting two versions Liotard's The Lavergne Family Breakfast. Regular readers will remember that the gallery acquired the artist's pastel version back in 2020, and have borrowed his version in oil to allow visitors to compare the two.

According to the blurb from the website:

Long regarded as his masterpiece, The Lavergne Family Breakfast is one of Liotard’s largest and most ambitious works in pastel. Despite the medium’s notorious delicacy, he skilfully reproduces complex textures: the sheen on the metal coffee pot, the shiny ceramic jug, the silky fabrics and reflections, in the black lacquer tray. Liotard was extremely versatile, producing works in pastel, oil, enamel, chalk and even on glass. Highly unusually, he returned to ‘The Lavergne Family Breakfast’ 20 years after he had painted it and made an exact replica in oil.


Last exhibited in 1754, when Liotard brought the pastel from Lyon to London, and hardly been seen in public since, this exhibition seeks to put Liotard and ‘The Lavergne Family Breakfast’ back in the spotlight.

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