Jean Siméon Chardin (French, 16991779)
Oil on canvas; 24 x 24 7/8 in. (61 x 63.2 cm)
Wentworth Fund, 1949 (49.24)
The idle play of children was a favorite theme of Chardin's. In this painting of about 1733–34, he drew inspiration from the seventeenth-century Dutch genre tradition, for both format and subject. While it is not certain that he intended the picture to carry a message, soap bubbles usually allude to the transience of life. Chardin painted two other versions of this picture (Los Angeles County Museum of Art; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.).