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Oysters by Jean-Francois Troy

Oesters van Jean-Francois Troy - Lyklema Fine Art

This time in Art & Food a dish that was first food for the poor and slowly became more and more exclusive: Oysters. A number of paintings have been made with oysters as the subject. From still lifes to entire bachanals such as the work of Jean-François de Troy: Le dejeneur d'huitres (1735) which can now be found in the Musee Conde Chateau de Chantilly, Oise

It is a painting from 1735 by Jean-François de Troy. This and The Ham Dinner by Nicolas Lancret hung opposite each other in the dining room of the smaller apartments of the Palace of Versailles, commissioned by Louis XV. It includes the first appearance of a champagne bottle in painting.


Jean-François de Troy: Le dejeneur d’huitres (1735)

Forget the symmetry of the Baroque, do not pay attention to the classical compositions of classicism, the 18th century wants frivolity and freedom. The artists choose their own subject or work on behalf of wealthy traders. But at least away from the religious. The colors become softer because the world is already so hard and unforgiving. Pastel had the freshness, soft transitions and light colors that many rococo artists were looking for. Clients want cheerfulness in our homes and palaces. The 18th century wants Rococo! While Renaissance and Baroque painting often consisted of the pursuit of technical perfection in depicting reality (perspective and light effects), in the 18th century you see that artists increasingly make stylistic choices that are separate from painting technique.

The work also shows what etiquette was like at that time. De Troy was famous for his tableaux de mode of which this work is also an exponent. The painting is a dinner after a hunt where the gentlemen are sitting dressed up for lunch, or rather the bacchanal. It shows what the etiquette was like at that time. Oysters were considered precious and served on silver platters. For a long time, oysters were the food of the poor because they could collect them themselves and had to be eaten fresh. The painting must have been made in the months of September to April because that is when oysters can be picked.


Six preparations of oyster

What you need:
  • Oysters
  • Japanese rice vinegar
  • Lemon
  • Apple
  • Rutabaga
  • Ginger
  • Bacon
  • Shallots
  • Dry sherry
  • Ginger
  • Red wine vinegar
  • White wine vinegar

Serve on a silver platter as in 1735

  1. Oyster with lemon; open oyster and sprinkle with lemon juice and some pepper Oyster with vinaigrette; Sprinkle the oyster with super finely chopped shallot and red wine vinegar
  2. Grill the oyster and serve with finely chopped apple/rutabaga and foam of oyster and its own liquid
  3. Cover oyster with warm pork belly and add brunoise of apple/shallot and a few drops of white vinegar
  4. Steamed oyster with ginger vinegar thingy
  5. Oyster with a granité of dry sherry; freeze sherry with apple and stir every half hour; ready after about three hours.
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