Browse by Artist

Artist: Boilly, Louis-Léopold 1 of 2 Previous Previous | Next Next
Interrupted Supper

Interrupted Supper, late 18th century

Louis-Léopold Boilly
French, 1761-1845
Oil on canvas (one of a pair)
15 x 18 in. (38.1 x 45.7 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

Not on View

The mildly erotic subjects of Louis-Léopold Boilly’s paintings are derived from the French painting tradition of sensibilité, in which gestures and facial expressions are employed to convey the sequence of events. Above, the young woman and her paramour are startled, while dining, by the approach of her elderly male protector.

The confusion of the events is manifest in the toppled furnish-ings, untidy table, growling dog and the lady’s provocatively disheveled dress. The exaggerated prettiness of the women’s faces contrasts with the extreme ugliness of the old man, which verges on caricature. Boilly’s genre scenes were immensely popular, to judge from the numerous engravings made after his paintings. Many of these prints carried risqué narrative captions added
by the engravers.

View Provenance

Artist: Boilly, Louis-Léopold 1 of 2 Previous Previous | Next Next