Rouen, ca. 1740−50
Faience (tin-glazed earthenware)
H. 12 1/2 in. (32 cm), W. 12 in. (30.5 cm)
© Christophe Perlès
This bracket is one of the most accomplished pieces made in Rouen in the exuberant rocaille style fashionable in France about 1730–50. The style was inspired by nature, especially shells, and the composition was typically asymmetrical. The central scene here depicts the beginning of a famous licentious tale by Jean de la Fontaine (1621−95) in which a flighty husband seduces a pretty serving girl as she is gathering flowers in his garden, while a neighbor observes the scene from her window. The Rouen potter closely followed a print made in the early 1740s by Nicolas de Larmessin after a painting by Nicolas Lancret, The Servant Justified, now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.