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House of Cards
House of Cards
Sheet: 42.1 x 57.1 cm (16 9/16 x 22 1/2 in.); Platemark: 27.5 x 31.1 cm (10 13/16 x 12 1/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1995.265
Catalogue raisonné: Inventaire du Fonds, Français 144
Chardin's (1699-1779) quiet picture of a boy studiously balancing cards is one of several paintings in which he depicted children or adolescents absorbed in thoughtful play or study. The rhyme at the bottom of the print comments on the resemblance between childhood and adult realms:
You are wrong to make fun of this adolescent
And of his useless amusement
Ready at first breeze to capsize
We are bored even at the age we should be wise
Out of our brains there often blow
The most ridiculous châteaus.
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