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

Portrait of the Dancer Camargo

c. 1732
Oil on canvas, 45 x 55 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Lancret, a pupil of Antoine Watteau, displays a Dutch influence, reflecting the shift in tastes among collectors and artists in the early 18th century. The work is also a composite of predictable elements: a Franco-Dutch idyllic landscape, a sumptuous dress taken from formal portraits, and a handful of musicians in the Rococo tradition. Stylisation can hardly explain the ungainly pose of the famous Marie-Anne Camargo (1710-1770), who introduced into female ballet the rapid unrestrained movements previously used only by men.