ETIENNE JEAURAT
(PARIS 1699-1789 VERSAILLES)
ETIENNE JEAURAT
(PARIS 1699-1789 VERSAILLES)
ETIENNE JEAURAT
(PARIS 1699-1789 VERSAILLES)
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THE PROPERTY OF THE TRUSTEES OF THE LOWTHER ESTATE TRUST
ETIENNE JEAURAT(PARIS 1699-1789 VERSAILLES)

The interior of a boudoir, with a lady in a white and blue dress

Details
ETIENNE JEAURAT
(PARIS 1699-1789 VERSAILLES)
The interior of a boudoir, with a lady in a white and blue dress
signed and dated 'Step.aus Jeaurat. / pinxt 1769' (lower left)
oil on canvas
26 x 22 ¼ in. (66 x 56.5 cm.)
stamped 'A.W. / 1792 / L.' (to the reverse of the canvas)
Provenance
The Earls of Lonsdale, by 1887, and by descent to the present owner.
Exhibited
Liverpool, The Walker Art Gallery, on long-term loan from 2009.

Brought to you by

Clementine Sinclair
Clementine Sinclair Director, Head of Department

Lot Essay


The tantalising glimpse of flesh as a woman put on or removed her garter was a common conceit in erotic painting in France in the eighteenth century. Variations on the theme abound, Jean-François de Troy in The Garter of 1724 chose to include a gentleman, seemingly being held back by his lover, though her slipping stockings suggest that an amorous encounter may not be far off (New York, Metropolitan Museum). In La Toilette by François Boucher, a woman ties up her garter whilst her friend proffers a lace mob cap, the slightly slovenly interior a further suggestion of the loose morals of the pair (Madrid, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza). These images were multiplied in print form, offering up shapely thighs to the masses.
In Jeaurat’s painting the young lady is seated in a well-to-do room, meticulous attention has been paid to the rococo curls of the wall-lights and the intricate pattern of the parquet. The snuffed out candles indicate that this is a day-time scene, though the clock stands at ten to eleven, a late hour to be dressing, suggesting an equally late night the previous evening. As well as the overtly enticing action of tying her garter ribbon, the painting offers further erotic symbolism to the prying gaze. Cats were used to represent female sexuality and lust, parrots were included in paintings to play the role of a woman’s surrogate lover and the chess board on the table implies games being played and a queen (or king) to be captured. On the wall to the left hangs the oval portrait of a monk, who should be gazing down on the scene in disapproval. However, his slight squint, a wonderful comic touch on Jeaurat’s part, means his line of sight is not directed at the room. Instead he peers off the side, leaving the viewer as the sole witness to the young lady’s actions.

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