In this sumptuously decorated Belgian interior of the mid-1860's, we are presented with an intimate and genuine moment. The little girl, clothed in white with a pale blue satin sash around her waist, is seated on the lap of her mother who is fashionably dressed in a pale lavender gown decorated with dark purple ribbons and finished with white lace. The visitor, possibly the child's aunt or a close family friend, wears a much darker costume. Traditionally, women were expected to prefer darker colors when leaving their own household yet if they remained in their residence they were not bound by such limitations. The unceremonious interior is decorated richly with early 18th Century French tapestries, together with Louis XVI silk upholstered giltwood canape, a giltwood console, a tabouret complete with Rococo giltwood, an Aubusson firescreen and a Neoclassical lyre-back chair. Fine details such as the ormolu mounted Sèvres porcelain, as well as the Chinese porcelain baluster vase mounted as an oil lamp, are completed with a sophisticated blending of a fine 19th Century Caucasian Rug with Kufic borders as the table cloth.
The two women have captured the obviously short attention span of the child with elegant skill and a calm restraint. It is clear that before the green macaw, the entertainment was the porcelain doll and the colorful ball, both of which are now tossed away by the foot of the tabouret.