The Oyster Lunch

The Oyster Lunch-Jean-François de Troy © RMN
1735 - Jean-François de Troy - (Paris, 1679-Rome, 1752)
The Oyster Lunch-Jean-François de Troy © RMN

King Louis XV commissioned this painting in 1735 for the Château of Versailles Small Apartments' dining room, known as the hunting returns, which explains the lack of female characters. The gentlemen are eating oysters - which became very popular in the eighteenth century - in sterling silverware. They are also drinking Champagne, which Dom Perignon created during the late seventeenth century near Epernay; servants and guests follow the cork with their eyes, which can be seen in the middle of the left column. The glasses are placed upside down in glass wall shelves, the wine rests in a wine cooler in the center.