Jean-Étienne Liotard and The Chocolate Paintings

If you love chocolate, this is your day.  According to several on-line sources, July 7th was designated as World Chocolate Day around 2009.  The history of chocolate celebrations, however, dates to the time of the Aztecs  (450 BC) who created fermented beverages made from chocolate. They believed that Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom, gave them the gift of cacao seeds.

Fast forward to now, I am celebrating World Chocolate Day with the Swiss Painter Jean-Étienne Liotard, who was born in Geneva and lived between 1702 – 1789.   It was an eventful century.

The Chocolate Girl by Jean-Étienne Liotard

To provide some context of the time in which Liotard lived, consider that Peter the Great established Saint Petersburg in 1703.  The Act of Union passed in 1707, merged the Scottish and English Parliaments, establishing the Kingdom of Great Britain.  Handel’s Messiah premiered in 1742.  On the other side of the world, James Cook explored and mapped New Zealand and Australia in 1769-1770.  Shortly thereafter, The American Revolution began in 1775.  In the years shortly before Jean-Etienne Liotard’s death, Mozart premiered in 1786-1787, The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni.

The gentle act of sipping a cup of delicious hot chocolate is a testament to the everyday occurrences that we enjoy, even as we recognize that we live within an ever-evolving, dynamic world.

Happy World Chocolate Day.

If you want to discover more about this remarkable artist, check out Jean-Étienne Liotard on Google Arts & Culture.

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15 Comments

  1. Resa

    Love the history more than the chocolate. Although I’m not a chocoholic, as most of my friends, I celebrate it! I enjoy it on special occasions, with red wine.
    The herstory in this post is very yummy! 😀

    1. Clanmother

      You celebrate life, Resa. In every post, every artistic endeavour, ever discussion and conversations you give joy to the world. It is a privilege to have connected. Looking forward to the many adventures waiting for us. Hugs!

    1. Clanmother

      Dies war das erste Mal, dass ich von diesem Künstler hörte. Was für ein wunderbarer Maler. Ich interessiere mich für seine Werke von seiner Reise in die Türkei. Ich lerne weiter. Vielen Dank für Ihre Kommentare. Ich genieße unsere Gespräche.

    1. Clanmother

      The more I read about portrait painters and painting, the more I know that the idea of ‘selfies” has been around for a very long time. Every generation believes that they are the first to come up with an idea….we just keep on adding on to what is already there. So many stories hidden in the vaults of art museums….

      1. Liz

        Ecclesiastes 1.9: “The thing that hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.” 🌞

  2. Ms Frances

    It is good to get acquainted with this artist, new to me. I did check Google Arts and Culture. His paintings are interesting, there is even one of cattle. Thank you for the information regarding the Aztecs–new for me. A good cup of chocolate with family or friends is always so good. I like the painting of The Chocolate Girl.

    1. Clanmother

      Jean-Etienne was new to me too. I looked up painting with chocolate (love that Google search) and found The Chocolate Girl. I was amazed by the detail, even down to the wrinkles in her skirt. Jean-Etienne was quite a traveler and had plenty of work painting portraits. I wonder if he kept the wrinkles in the faces, or if he had an inmate editing function. Hmmm….

    1. Clanmother

      I’m currently reading the Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport. It is not an easy read, especially knowing the ending, but it gives me great insight into the history of Russia. I also started Catherine the Great. So many books, so many stories, so little time. But I have a huge supply of tea (hot chocolate too)….its a good beginning. Thanks for stopping by…

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