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.
Torpy JM. Still Life: Tea Set. JAMA. 2009;302(21):2292. doi:10.1001/jama.302.21.jcs90028
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