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The Return from the MarketEnlarge image

The Return from the Market, 1738

Jean-Siméon Chardin
French, 1699 - 1779
oil on canvas
46.7 x 37.5 cm
Purchased 1956
National Gallery of Canada (no. 6433)

Chardin’s acute awareness of the nature of things endowed his representations of ordinary objects with a serenity and timeless dignity that ultimately raised still-life painting to a new and respected plane. The same tender observation of everyday occurrences is evident in these two genre scenes. In "The Return from the Market", the housekeeper deposits bread and a leg of lamb in the pantry while listening in on the conversation at the open door. Likewise, in "The Governess", beyond the door another world awaits the young boy, listening thoughtfully, his lesson books in hand and his toys abandoned on the floor.

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The Governess The Governess
46.7 x 37.5 cm