OLLIVIER, Michel-Barthélémy
(b. 1712, Marseille, d. 1784, Paris)

Afternoon Tea at the Temple

Oil on canvas, 53 x 68 cm
Musée National du Château, Versailles

The painting depicts an English-style tea in the Four-Mirror Salon of the Palais du Temple in Paris in 1766.

The salons, places of conversations in sophisticated social circles in Paris and the provinces, played an important role in 18th-century cultural life. Artistic undertakings, problems of decoration, and literary endeavours all became topics in the salons. It is interesting to note that the term designating social gatherings was also applied to the dominant mode of artistic exhibition, the famous Salons of painting.

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