Hot on the heels of the Scottish National Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts’ exhibitions which revealed the genius of Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-1798) to a wider audience, Sotheby’s London will offer a rare work by the Swiss master whose pastel portraits caught the imagination of his contemporaries, from Europe to the Levant. A highlight of the recent show at the Royal Academy of Arts, A Dutch Girl at Breakfast has not appeared on the market for almost 250 years. It is one of the rare oil paintings by the celebrated artist, and the only genre scene of an interior he painted in oils to remain in private hands. Probably painted in Holland in 1755-56, the work was bought in the artist’s sale in London in 1774 by his long standing friend and patron, William Ponsonby, 2nd Earl of Bessborough who played a decisive role in the artist’s life and career. This magnificent painting remained in the possession of the descendants of the Earl ever since and will be offered in Sotheby’s London evening sale of Old Master and British Paintings on 6 July 2016, with an estimate of £4-6 million.