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With a much-read book placed temporarily on her lap, a young woman in a luxurious Belle Époque interior enjoys a moment of reverie, contemplating a parrot fluttering on its perch. Highly detailed, and displaying considerable technical skill, this is one of the finest gouaches by Madeleine Lemaire to have been on the market in recent years, and is an example of the type of elegant, Rococo-inspired genre scene which made her famous in her day. Everything has been executed with consummate skill and it would not be going too far to suggest that Lemaire was one of the finest watercolourists of her generation, even if her subject matter was rooted in the previous century, and her technique was academic rather than avant-garde.