Anne Vallayer–Coster (French, 17441818)
Oil on canvas; oval, 19 3/4 x 15 in. (50.2 x 38.1 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1906 (07.225.504)
A leading exponent of still life painting, Vallayer-Coster joined the Academy in 1770. Her work came to the attention of Marie Antoinette around 1778 and subsequently she was granted quarters in the Louvre. This picture can perhaps be identified with one of "three small oval paintings of flowers and fruits" exhibited in the Salon of 1781. Diderot commented that while these pictures were painted with truthfulness, the execution was cold and weak.