Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

Exhibition: Discover Liotard and the Lavergne Family Breakfast


National Gallery,

Trafalgar Square, London,


This exhibition runs from Thu, 16th Nov 2023 to Sun, 3rd Mar 2024.

Forthcoming dates:

28th Nov 2023  
(10am - 6pm)
29th Nov 2023  
(10am - 6pm)
30th Nov 2023  
(10am - 6pm)
1st Dec 2023  
(10am - 9pm)
2nd Dec 2023  
(10am - 6pm)
3rd Dec 2023  
(10am - 6pm)
4th Dec 2023  
(10am - 6pm)

Cost: Free of Charge


For the first time in 250 years, this exhibition reunites the pastel masterpiece by Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard, painted in Lyon in 1754, with the painted version in oil he completed in London almost 20 years later.

This is the second in a series of ‘Discover’ exhibitions staged in the National Gallery’s Sunley Room which explore well-known paintings in the collection through a contemporary lens.

The exhibition will introduce viewers to the delicate medium of pastel, showcasing both the raw materials and a selection of Liotard’s highly finished works in pastel. The reunion of the pastel and oil works by Liotard will also allow visitors to appreciate and compare the different techniques and effects of both mediums.

Long regarded as his masterpiece both by art historians and by Liotard himself, The Lavergne Family Breakfast entered the National Gallery’s collection in 2019 from the estate of George Pinto (1929 – 2018), art collector and patron of the Gallery, under the Acceptance-in-Lieu scheme. Last exhibited when Liotard brought the pastel from Lyon to London in 1754, it had not been seen in public since.

Executed across more than 9 sheets of paper, The Lavergne Family Breakfast is Liotard’s largest and most ambitious pastel. It depicts a breakfast between an elegantly dressed woman and a young girl, whose hair is still in paper curlers. Between the two lies a luxurious breakfast still life. Although not strictly a portrait, the sitters have long been associated with relatives of Liotard’s, the Lavergne family, who lived in Lyon.

The exhibition also focuses on Liotard’s place within the 18th century. Liotard travelled widely, crossing Europe several times throughout his career. He spent four formative years in Constantinople, after which he donned Turkish clothes, grew a knee-length beard and presented himself as “the Turkish painter”. A group of black and red chalk drawings made on his travels will illustrate these journeys, while a selection of self-portraits in different media will bring this quirkiest of 18th-century artists to life. Alongside Liotard’s own travels, the journeys implicit in the enjoyment of coffee, sugar and Japanese porcelain seen in the picture will also be examined.

Exploring the pastel medium, Liotard’s itinerant career, and the stories behind the objects he depicts, this exhibition seeks to put Liotard and The Lavergne Family Breakfast in the spotlight.

Contact and Booking Details

More information at this website.

No need to book tickets - just turn up on the day.


The information and prices in this listing are presumed to be correct at the time of publishing, but please always check with the venue before making a special trip.

All images are supplied by the exhibition organiser.

This exhibition runs from Thu, 16th Nov 2023 to Sun, 3rd Mar 2024

This event runs over several days/weeks. Dates include:

November 2023

December 2023

January 2024

February 2024

March 2024


National Gallery,

Trafalgar Square, London,



Other exhibitions open at National Gallery

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This exhibition, the first major retrospective of Hals in more than thirty years, means a new generation can discover why he deserves his place as one of the greatest painters in Western art.
Frans Hals
10am to 6pm
Trafalgar Square
Ends on Sun 21st January 2024


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