The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The Hunt Breakfast
  • Niclas Lafrensen (1737 - 1807)
  • The Hunt Breakfast
  • France
  • late 1770s / early 1780s
  • Miniature
  • Painted on ivory
  • Diameter: 6.9 cm
    Frame size: 9.1 x 8 cm
  • Label: '278' (rewritten as 258)
    Inscription: 'Leferr… / Bij … r' (indicating no. 95 or its frame came from the same source as R94)
  • M258
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The topic of ‘The Hunt Breakfast’ was introduced into the mainstream of French painting by Watteau with his painting in the Wallace Collection of c. 1717-18 and by François Lemoyne’s celebrated canvas in São Paulo of 1723. Nicolas Lancret painted several examples of the subject which are particularly close to Lafrensen’s miniature. However these paintings were already in the collection of the Prussian King Frederick II in Potsdam when Lafrensen’s miniatures were painted. The link between Lafrensen and Lancret is Carle Van Loo’s large-scale ‘Hunt Breakfast’ which he painted as a young artist in 1737 for the Petits Apartements of Louis XV in Fontainebleau, under strong influence on Lancret’s renderings of the subject. Lafrensen took several elements directly from Van Loo – the central figure of a seated woman in yellow eating from a plate on her lap turning to a companion further on the left, the reclining huntsman in red, the standing servant, and also the overall spatial arrangement with a clump of trees behind the figures on the left, a wide view into the landscape sloping down on the right and a more distant group of figures further down that slope. Van Loo’s painting was in Fontainebleau until 1793 and thus easily accessible during Lafrensen’s Parisian years.

    ‘The Hunt Breakfast’ forms a pair with ‘The Walk in the Park’ (M257). The two roundels contrast the hunt with the more civilized nature of the park and also the two fashion styles associated with these different settings.