French school, 18thcentury
After Jean Etienne Liotard (Genève 1702 – 1789)
Quarrel over Chestnuts
282 x 414 mm – 1 1/8x 16 5/16 in.
The present work is made after a pastel belonging to the Miniaturkabinett de Schönbrunn in Vienna, formerly attributed to Maria Theresa of Austria’s spouse, Francis I, and reattributed to Jean Etienne Liotard by Neil Jeffarès. The watercolour corresponds to ‘a small picture representing a quarrel over chestnuts’ which Liotard exhibited at the 1752 Salon of the Académie de Saint-Luc. The scene is replete with obvious sexual connotations and treated with great humour: a young man tries to make a young woman touch the chestnuts, whereas another reprimands them while trying to reach them too. The third woman on the right with her arms folded watches the scene with disapprobation.