Today I will share Thomas Couture's print for "The Supper after the Masked Ball", which resides in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Couture's "Supper" depicts the epilogue of a decadent party, which conveniently resulted in his subjects draped throughout the scene in picturesque manner. It must have been quite a gathering! This piece uses a composition and narrative style which I associate with large scale academic work, providing an interesting treatment for such worldly subject matter.
Couture also produced an oil painting of this scene, however I prefer this print. The version of the painting I've seen seems much too dark, and from what I've read the restoration process presented greater than usual challenges.
Either way, I like the bright, colorful quality of the print, which I believe gives the scene a more honest, straight-forward approach, offering our drunken party-goers no shadows in which to hide. Like a fashion photographer shooting his models with a ring light, everything before the eye is exposed for observation. The "Supper" print has a certain chic quality which would make it suitable for the pages of a glossy magazine.