The Swedish miniature painter Niclas Lafrensen created this Rococo scene in gouache to be engraved by the Parisian master printer Nicolas Delaunay and sold through the fine print market. The print is dedicated to Countess d’Ogny, wife of a young nobleman Claude-François-Marie Rigolet, Comte d’Ogny (1757-1790). We see Madame d’Ogny choosing wallpaper, taking a singing lesson, and having her hair done while entertaining guests in an elegant sitting room.
It is interesting to note that Comte d’Ogny, the founder of the Paris-based music society, Concert de la Loge olympique, and patron of Franz Josef Haydn, was known for his extravagance and left a debt of 100,000 livres when he died.
Lafrensen and Delaunay also created a pendant scene: Le billet doux (The Love Letter) showing a man slipping a letter to one woman while chatting with another.
Delaunay engraved a number of book illustrations. Here are a few:
Arnaud Berquin (1747-1791). Idylles, romances, et autres poésies de Berquin (Paris: Ant. Aug. Renouard, 1803). Cotsen Children’s Library (CTSN) Euro 18 23489
Jean Michel Moreau (1741-1814), Dessins de Moreau ([Paris: s.n., 1776-1779]). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2008-2366N