The Collection

Jean- Frédéric Schall - Lady with pet dog sitting in front of a dressing table

Jean- Frédéric Schall (Straßburg 1752 - Paris 1825)

Lady with pet dog sitting in front of a dressing table

Oil on wood
Height 32.3, width 24.6 cm
Jean Frédéric Schall was born in Strasbourg in 1752 and received his first training in his native city at the Ecole publique de Dessin (around 1768). In 1772 he left his home to continue his education in Paris in the studio of Fr. Casanova, in 1775 he was admitted to the Académie royale de Peinture et Sculpture where he studied under Nicolas René Jollain (1732-1804) and Nicolas Bernard Lépicié (1735-1784), among others. Following his studies Schall first exhibited as a painter around 1779 and very quickly achieved recognition among admirers and collectors of bourgeois and galant scenes. Influenced by the work of François Boucher (1703-1770), Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) and Pierre-Antoine Baudouin (1723-1769), and equally by Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), his paintings, due in no small part to their lightness, their sentimental and at times even frivolous character, were as greatly appreciated as those of his contemporaries Lépicié or Fragonard. Until the outbreak of the French Revolution Schall painted large numbers of galant scenes, often based on the chronicle of scandals of the regime of Louis XVI. These accurate, detailed depictions provide much visual information about the furniture, dress and customs of the time. Many of these pictures have been handed down in the form of prints dating from the same time.

The present painting, which is carefully painted with rich detail, also depicts a private scene set in an interior in the style of Louis XVI: a young lady in a flowing white costume seated in front of her dressing table holds a fan in her left hand. Opposite her a sweet little dog sits up and begs on a green-upholstered stool. The walls are covered with green hangings, a Louis XVI pendule stands on the straight-edged marble mantelpiece, along with various objets d’art, in front of a large, framed mirror that is flanked by three-armed wall sconces. The mirror reveals a glimpse of a room with gold-edged pilasters on the outer plane of the rounded wall. An ensemble of pictures beside the fireplace precisely reflects the taste of the time: as well as a portrait we see idyllic landscapes and depictions of a pair of lovers and of an elegant lady against a park-like landscape.

André Girordie reproduced further scenes of a decidedly private character in his monograph on Jean Frédéric Schall: Rouen, Collection Louis Deglatigny (Plate XI); Paris, Collection Alfred Lindon (Plate IX); Paris, Collection Octave Homberg (Plate VIII); Paris, Collection Arthur Veil-Picard (Plate V).
Literature: André Girodie: Un Peintre de Fêtes Galantes - Jean-Frédéric Schall, Strasbourg 1927

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