All of Francoise Duparc’s surviving paintings blend portraiture and genre. Her subjects appear to be acquaintances whom she has asked to pose; she has captured both their self-consciousness and the spontaneity of their everyday activities, the depiction of which characterizes genre painting. But genre painting, especially when it portrayed members of the humblest classes, was never popular in eighteenth-century France. The Le Nain brothers and Georges de La Tour, who also chose such themes, were largely ignored. Their present high standing is due to a different, more democratic political climate and to different aesthetic values: we no longer require artists to provide ideal images of humanity for our moral edification but rather regard such idealization as a falsification of the truth. Duparc gives no improving message and discreetly refrains from judging her subjects. In brief, her works neither elevate nor instruct. This restraint largely explains her lack of popular success during her lifetime, even if her talent did not go completely unrecog-nized by her eighteenth-century French contemporaries.