Peasant Family in an Interior (17th Century) by Louis Le Nain (1600/1610-1648), musée du LouvreOriginal Source: Paris, musée du Louvre
The peasants watching us look serious. This unexpected depth in the context of an ordinary meal makes the painting something more than a simple representation of everyday life.
The children's expressions are gently melancholic.
The lined faces of the older characters show how arduous their laborious working lives have been and their patched clothing is a mark of their poverty.
The transparent glass revealing the color of the wine it contains is a premium-quality piece out of place in a peasant home. This disturbing detail is a clue to the symbolic of the painting that goes beyond peasant reality.
The bread and wine being shared were the mainstays of the peasant diet at the time and are Christian symbols.
We would like to thank:
- For design, illustrations, writing, and coordination of the RMN-Grand Palais project: Cécile Maisonneuve (Doctor of Art History, Policy Officer, Scientific Council), Nathalie Gathelier (National Museums Speaker), Annie Madec (Iconographer), Françoise Lombardi-Peissel (Project Manager) at RMN-Grand Palais.
- For reproductions: French museum collections represented by the Photo Agency of the Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais:
Montpellier, Musée Fabre; Versailles, Musée Lambinet; Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts; Paris, The Louvre; Paris, Centre Pompidou (Musée National d'Art Moderne - Centre de Création Industrielle).