The Garter

Jean François de Troy French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 630

A man offers to help a woman reattach her garter, a common conceit in erotic painting and literature in eighteenth-century France. Her hand firmly rejects his advance, but the indecorous decision to reveal her leg in his presence suggests a ruse—perhaps inspired by the contents of the book she has discarded next to an already disrobed bronze statuette. The clock resembles the latest models by the famed furniture maker André Charles Boulle and includes a figure of Saturn, or Father Time, whose scythe has been stolen by Cupid.

The Garter, Jean François de Troy (French, Paris 1679–1752 Rome), Oil on canvas

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