Jean-Etienne Liotard’s The Lavergne Family Breakfast, acquired by the National Gallery in 2019, is one of the Gallery’s most important eighteenth-century pictures and one of the artist’s largest and most ambitious pastel. Last exhibited in 1755, when Liotard brought the pastel from Lyon to London (an incredible feat in itself given the fragility of pastel), it has hardly been seen in public since. Exploring the pastel medium, Liotard’s itinerant career and the stories behind the objects he depicts, this catalogue puts Liotard and The Lavergne Family Breakfast in the spotlight.
Liotard was a flamboyant artist and unusually well travelled for his time, spending four formative years in Constantinople and working at the courts of Vienna, Paris and London, as well as in commercial centres such as Lyon and Amsterdam, becoming a celebrity wherever he went. This beautifully illustrated publication offers readers a fresh perspective on the eighteenth century and an accessible introduction to a particularly idiosyncratic and gifted artist
Published by National Gallery Global/Distributed by Yale University Press
The National Gallery, London
(November 16, 2023–March 3, 2024)