The Ham Dinner (French - Le Déjeuner de jambon) is an oil-on-canvas painting created in 1735 by French artist Nicolas Lancret.[2][3]

The Afternoon Meal
French: Le Déjeuner de jambon
ArtistNicolas Lancret[1]
Mediumoil on canvas
Dimensions188 cm × 123 cm (74 in × 48 in)
LocationMusée Condé, Chantilly

It and de Troy's The Oyster Dinner were commissioned by Louis XV to decorate the dining room of the lesser apartments at the Palace of Versailles. Both works are now in the Musée Condé, in Chantilly.



This painting was commissioned in 1734 by King Louis XV from the painter Lancret, for the dining room of the small apartments at the Palace of Versailles, who produced it the following year. A receipt is issued in his name for the sum of 2,400 pounds for the production of this painting. It was the counterpart to Jean-François de Troy's Oyster Lunch. The canvas is then embedded in woodwork. It was in place in 1737 and appears in the inventory of the royal collections at that date. But from 1768, the paintings left the apartments following their reorganization in office rooms and kitchens. In 1784, the paintings are present at the superintendence of the castle.[4]

During the Revolution, the painting was seized and sent to the Central Museum of Arts, ancestor of the Louvre Museum. During the Restoration, in 1817, Louis-Philippe I, then Duke of Orléans, claimed the work as well as its counterpart. He declares that these two works come from the collection of his ancestor, the Regent Philippe d'Orléans, his ancestor, when in reality they never belonged to him. Louis-Philippe sends the two paintings, as well as Le Déjeuner de Chasse, recovered in the same way from his Château d'Eu. His son, the Duke of Aumale acquired it in 1857, during the sale of his father's collections in London. He obtains that the two pendants are withdrawn from sale: The Luncheon of Ham is acquired for 4,000 francs. He installs them in his property of Orleans House in Twickenham. These paintings have a sentimental value for him: his father described to him the names of the characters represented here. According to Jules Guiffrey, it was Philippe d'Orléans, known as le Gros, feasting within the Society of Cotton Bonnets. But apart from the fact that this identification is impossible because of the late date of the painting, art historians today doubt that it could represent characters who really existed. Indeed, the Société des Bonnets de coton was founded in 1760 while Lancret died in 1743 and the Chantilly painting is dated 1735.[5]

Returning to France in 1871, the Duke of Aumale exhibited it in the large gallery of his Château de Chantilly, currently owned by the Institut de France.

See also


1648 Flemish painting of nearly the same name by David Teniers the Younger


  1. ^ Jean Louis Flandrin; Jane Cobbi (1999). Tables d'hier, tables d'ailleurs: histoire et ethnologie du repas. Odile Jacob. pp. 210–. ISBN 978-2-7381-0564-6.
  2. ^ José Artur; Hervé Chayette; Philippe baron de Rothschild (1997). Le Vin à travers la peinture. pp. 190–. ISBN 978-2-86770-007-1.
  3. ^ Chilvers, Ian (2009). The Oxford Dictionary of Art. pp. 390–. ISBN 978-0-19-860476-1.
  4. ^ Bernstein, Margot (2021). "Carmontelle, or The Age of Pleasures by Nicole Garnier-Pelle". Eighteenth-Century Studies. 54 (3): 691–702. doi:10.1353/ecs.2021.0046. ISSN 1086-315X. S2CID 236717727.
  5. ^ Longuemare, Paul de (1896). "Réception du Comité de la Société française d'archéologie, par la Société historique et archéologique du Maine". Bulletin Monumental. 61 (1): 297–331. doi:10.3406/bulmo.1896.11075. ISSN 0007-473X.