LANCRET, Nicolas
(b. 1690, Paris, d. 1743, Paris)

Billiard Players

Oil on canvas, 53 x 61 cm
Private collection

This painting shows the characteristics of Lancret's late style. In a vaulted hall two elegant couples play billiards. A mother and her young daughter are depicted in the foreground and a couple sit on a sofa beneath a classical sculpture beyond. A sunlit garden is seen through the doorway.

The game of billiards was very popular with the nobility in France. Louis XIII and Louis XIV were both enthusiastic players and it was said that Marie-Antoinette spent the eve of the French Revolution playing billiards with members of the court.