|La toilette de Madame Geoffrin by Nicholas Lancret (1690-1743)|
The lady above use her fingers for her rouge, but Madame de Pompadour use a small brush to apply hers. It might have been a matter for preference, but a rouge based on fat is easier to apply with the fingers and a dry one with a brush, so that might also be a reason. The powder puff with the small handle is meant to freshen up the powdered hair. An illustration plate from Encyclopédie Méthodique, Arts Mécaniques show a very similar puff.
|Madame de Pompadour at Her Toilette by François Boucher, 1750's|
|Enamelled gold box for rouge and patches with brush by Joseph-Etienne Blerzy, 1780-1782|
|A Lady Applying A Beauty Patch by Francois Boucher|
It seems to have been quite popular to have been painted with a patch ready at a finger tip. More matching, probably laquered boxes. I wonder if it is the handle of a brush we are seeing.
|Anne de La Grangem Trianon by François-Hubert Drouais, (1727-1775)|
|La Mouche, A Lady at Her Toilet by Louis Tocque |
Beside the patch box there are also a jewelry box and a rouge brush on the vanity. And a cylindrical etui, which I am curious about. anyone who knows what it was used for? Needles perhaps, though it seems a bit too big for that.
|Portrait of Marquise de Gast by Donatien Nonnotte, 1743|
Despite being a charicature, the vanity table looks very much like they do on more serious pictures.
|La Folie Pare La Decrepitude Des Ajustements De La Jeunesse by Charles-Antoine Coypel (1694-1752)|
Many vanity tables on 18th century paintings seems to have been especially furnished for that purpose, with cloth fitted over them, but there are also paintings were the table have several purposes. There is also a charming drawing by Sergel, which I can't find online, of a lady getting her hair dressed by her maid in the kitchen, while food is being prepared in the background.
|A Lady at Her toilet by Jean Raoux, 1727|
|Queen Caroline at Windsor at her dressing table with her two oldest children, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York:by Johann Zoffany|
|Circle of The Master of the Reflessi|
|François Hubert Drouais|
A lady in the process of powdering her hair
|A Lady at her toilet table, dressed in a peignoir by an unknown artist, c. 1750|
Not a vanity painting, but I include it because the little girl still have her curling paper in her hair, a nice peek into the process of dressing hair.
|Madame Liotard and her Daughter by Jean-etienne Liotard (1702-1789)|