A moment of peace and quiet ☕
This week marks the death of French painter Jean-Siméon Chardin in 1779. Renowned for his carefully constructed genre scenes, his painting 'The House of Cards' beautifully illustrates the fragile nature of human endeavour. Here, a young boy stands at a small wooden table fully absorbed in building a house out of playing cards. He is Jean-Alexandre Le Noir, whose father, Jean-Jacques Le Noir, was a furniture dealer and cabinetmaker. He commissioned several paintings from Chardin.
The theme of a child building a house of cards was a popular one and paintings of this subject were often accompanied by moralising verses, as was Chardin’s painting when it was engraved. But there may also be a family connection. As a maker of fine furniture, Monsieur Le Noir may have hoped his son would follow him into the business. The boy’s card building is perhaps not just a game but may also be an exercise in sound methods of construction: https://bit.ly/39mPQVw