Well-known mostly for his genre work and portraits of the elite, the French artist, Antoine Favray resided permanently in Malta, save for a 9-year stay in Constantinople, after his studies in Rome. His paintings are important sources of information on what life was like for the upper social classes in 18th-century Malta.
This is one of the most well-known paintings by Favray. A noble woman visits a friend who is weaving lace. Another elegantly dressed lady announces the visit, while an infant plays with a small dog. The painting has considerable historical value as it shows the interior of a typical 18th-century house of the nobility, with walls covered in paintings and a traditional Maltese clock, while the women wear exquisite dresses, lace veils and the traditional għonnella that were popular at the time. It is a perfect snapshot, a moment in time, of days gone by.