The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Three Women Bathing
  • Jacques Charlier (1706 - 1790)
  • Three Women Bathing
  • France
  • late 1770s or 1780s
  • Miniature
  • Gouache on ivory
  • Image size: 5.9 x 8.3 cm
    Frame size: 7.8 x 10.2 cm
  • M56
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Among Charlier’s earlier patrons were the households of King Louis XV and of Mme de Pompadour. Later in his career, he is recorded as having received important commissions from the leading Parisian collectors of the time. When he died in 1790 he left a sizeable art collection.

    However, the fact that on 20th October 1778 Charlier staged a sale of ninety of his own works indicates that he was experiencing financial difficulties at that time, probably due to changes in taste away from the Rococo. Another sale in the following year was a disaster. Charlier’s output (as it has been traditionally understood) was so closely linked with the style of the mid century and in particular with Boucher’s work, that he was bound to meet difficulties as soon as the art of the Rococo began to fall out of favour.

    A productive career of more than sixty years leaves considerable space for stylistic development. This miniature is probably an example of Charlier’s later work. The position of all three figures in a shallow front plane, the triangular composition and the very pale colour scheme all fit within the framework of developed Neoclassicism. While the figures are based on Boucher, they have lost his fluency of touch and Baroque force and seem closer to works by Louis-Jean-François Lagrénée (1724-1805). Charlier’s ‘Diana and Nymphs Bathing’, also in the Wallace Collection (M51), shares similar traits and must date from the same later period in the artist’s career.