The Billiard Room
Nicolas–Antoine Taunay (French, 1755–1830)
Oil on wood; 6 3/8 x 8 5/8 in. (16.2 x 21.9 cm)
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982 (1982.60.49)
This is the only painting by Taunay in the Metropolitan, and it exemplifies the artist's preference for depicting genre subjects and working on a small scale. It is a slightly different version of the painting on canvas that Taunay exhibited at the Salon of 1808, which was the same Salon in which Boilly showed his painting of billiards. This scene featuring all male figures unfolds in a game room or club, which were popular in Paris at the time. The allegory of Victory above the door holding a bag of coins suggests that bets are being exchanged among the players.