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The Cover
December 2, 2009

Still Life: Tea Set

JAMA. 2009;302(21):2292. doi:10.1001/jama.302.21.jcs90028

Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789), in a far cry from the pastels and portraits for which he was noted, painted a slice of life in his genre scene Still Life: Tea Set (cover). Drinking tea—and also chocolate beverages (JAMA cover, May 15, 2002)—conveyed an exoticism, a sense of luxury, and the ultimate representation of excess time for leisurely pursuits. In addition to this composition centered around tea, Liotard, in 2 paintings from around 1744, also demonstrated the fine art of drinking chocolate (The Chocolate Girl [La belle chocolatière] and A Lady Pouring Chocolate [La chocolatière]). Chocolate, known in France from the early 1700s, was served at the court of Louis XIV at Versailles and was said to be highly favored, perhaps even more so than tea.

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