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The White Tablecloth

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin
French, 1699–1779

About this artwork

Jean-Siméon Chardin won acclaim for the still lifes and quiet scenes of middle-class domestic life that he exhibited at salons sponsored by the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. In his early still lifes, such as this one, he incorporated motifs common to 17th-century Dutch and Flemish works: the foreshortened knife, the handle of which protrudes over the table’s edge; the overturned glass; and the remains of a meal. The work’s unusual shape reveals its original function as a screen for the opening of a fireplace. Viewed at floor level, the screen would have conveyed the illusion of a table recessed into the fireplace.


On View, Gallery 216


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin


The White Tablecloth


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


96.8 × 123.5 cm (38 1/8 × 48 5/16 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection

Reference Number


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