GREUZE, Jean-Baptiste
(b. 1725, Tournus, d. 1805, Paris)

Indolence (La Paresseuse Italienne)

Oil on canvas, 70 x 49 cm
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford

Greuze exhibited at the Salon of 1757 four pictures 'dans le costume italien', including Indolence or La Paresseuse Italienne. Here one might see the influence not only of Caravaggio but of Subleyras, notably in the beautiful response to tones of cream and white, set off by passages of warm colour, like the girl's scarlet shoes. Greuze's feel for textures is demonstrated in the range of material suggested: from the delicacy of glass to the coarse fabric of the skirt, not overlooking the pale yet sensuously heavy tones of flesh. A typically Greuzian fondness for the pleasures of disorder characterizes the whole composition. Not Italy but his own temperament seems the inspiration behind it.