Le petit jour (Daybreak)

Accession Number

Le petit jour (Daybreak)

Nicolas Delaunay

Object Creation Date
circa 1780

Medium & Support
engraving and etching on paper

14 3/4 in. x 10 1/2 in. ( 37.5 cm x 26.7 cm )

Credit Line
The Paul Leroy Grigaut Memorial Collection

Label copy
Scenes of luxury and sexual innuendo were popular with audiences during the eighteenth century, and Le petit jour is typical of this taste in contemporary imagery. This scene of a young woman dressing in the presence of a seated admirer, assisted in her task by her maid, is typical of "boudoir" genre scenes that were common at this time. The woman is standing in a lavishly decorated interior, and her morning ritual takes on a quality of pageantry for the benefit of the man.
Swiss painter and draftsman Sigmund Freudenberger came to study in Paris in 1765 and was influenced by the works of Fragonard and Boucher. In reaction to what were considered the laxity and excesses of the upper classes, there arose during the later eighteenth century a new kind of imagery that depicted moral stories and virtuous principles.
Exhibition label copy from "Eighteenth Century French Prints and Drawings," February 1 - May 4, 2003 by Curator Carole McNamara

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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chairs (furniture forms)
man on horseback

2 Related Resources

Early Modern European Court Life
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
Early Modern European Portraits and Self-Fashioning
(Part of 12 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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