CHARDIN, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon
(b. 1699, Paris, d. 1779, Paris)

The Provider (La Pourvoyeuse)

Oil on canvas, 47 x 38 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Chardin was one of the greatest of the 18th century, whose genre and still-life subjects documented the life of the Paris bourgeoisie. He favoured simple still-lifes and unsentimental domestic interiors. His muted tones and ability to evoke textures are seen in the Provider, of which he made several versions.

The term 'pourvoyeuse' (provider) was applied both to the daily provider of a middle-class household, and to a woman who sold her "charms" on the street.

It has been suggested that Chardin used his flat as his model in this painting, given that through the first door one can glimpse the Chardin family's copper fountain, which appears in the still-life named after it.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.