Enfilade

Exhibition | The Chocolate Girl by Liotard

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on September 29, 2018

Notice of the exhibition appeared at Enfilade in April, but here are the details for the catalogue, published in association with Hirmer Verlag:

Stephan Koja and Roland Enke, eds., ‘The Most Beautiful Pastel Ever Seen’: The Chocolate Girl by Jean-Étienne Liotard in the Dresden Gemäldegalerie (Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2018), 272 pages, ISBN: 978-3777431369, $42.

The Chocolate Girl is one of the most famous works by the Swiss artist Jean-Étienne Liotard. This richly illustrated volume leads the reader through the age in which it was created during the French-inspired Rococo and into the Vienna of Empress Maria Theresia, where the work was painted. It also explains the art of pastel painting, in which this enchanting work has been executed. The painting had a tremendous effect in those days and still does so today. Even during Liotard’s life (1702–1789) his pastel painting was highly valued, as the description by the most famous pastel artist Rosalba Carriera as “the most beautiful pastel” demonstrates. The Chocolate Girl shows a simple, unknown domestic servant, until then a rarely chosen subject. In its sober and precise observation it reflects the art of the Enlightenment as well as anticipating the realism of the nineteenth century. Chocolate itself, always associated with pleasure, contributes further to the particular charm. Characteristic works from other creative periods complete the overview of Liotard’s oeuvre.