Discover Liotard & The Lavergne Family Breakfast ★★★★★ The National Gallery | Until March 3, 2024 (Free Entry)

This exquisite, small exhibition will be every art lover's cup of tea. Jean-Etienne Liotard is an 18th century artist more celebrated in his time than he is today, but this delightful look at his work should be an important step in rectifying this situation. Liotard worked in a variety of media from oils to ceramics, but his crowning achievement was in pastels. He was a master of this extremely fragile medium, and the central point of the current exhibition is an excellent opportunity to compare and contrast his representation of the same subject, The Lavergne Family Breakfast, in both pastels and in oil. For the first time in almost 250 years, Liotard's masterpieces come together and are placed side by side. The pastel version was acquired by The National Gallery in 2019 and the oil, which was painted almost twenty years later, has been lent from a private collection. Contrasting the two representations highlights how the two media can be employed to deal with volume, tone and nuances of colouration. This is a fascinating opportunity to compare the qualities of the two formats and to appreciate Liotard's consummate control of them both. The exhibition itself introduces us to a fascinating personality who was noted for dressing in a Turkish style and whose lifestyle was amazingly peripatetic. His ongoing creative audacity is reflected by the 78 year-old's self-portrait in the new technique of mezzotint. The show opens with a brief, but interesting, introduction to the medium of pastels, and is then divided into four sections: The Lavergne Family Breakfast, Liotard's Life and Times, Liotard in London and Liotard's Passion for Porcelain. It all provides a wonderfully concise overview that will definitely whet the appetite to learn more about this versatile artist and his work.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Image: Jean-Etienne Liotard, The Lavergne Family Breakfast (1773) © Courtesy the owner / photo: The National Gallery, London

When, Where, Getting there:

Most Popular

St. Martin in-the-fields: Lunchtime Concerts ★★★★ FREE

Knocking on the Wall ★★★★ Finborough Theatre | Oct 31 - Nov 25, 2023

Mates in Chelsea ★★★ Royal Court Theatre | Nov 3 - Dec 16, 2023

Sleeping Beauty Takes A Prick ★★★★★ Charing Cross Theatre | Nov 23, 2023 - Jan 13, 2024

The Mongol Khan ★★★★ London Coliseum | Nov 17 - Dec 2, 2023

£1 Thursdays ★★★ Finborough Theatre | Nov 28 - Dec 22, 2023

Peter Pan Goes Wrong ★★★★ Lyric Theatre | Nov 23, 2023 - Jan 14, 2024

Feeling Afraid As If Something Terrible Is Going To Happen ★★★★★ Bush Theatre | Until December 23, 2023

To Have and To Hold ★★★★ Hampstead Theatre | Until November 25, 2023

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings