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

Children at Play in the Open

Oil on canvas, 27 x 33 cm
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen

The beginning of the 18th century saw the introduction of a new genre within French painting, fêtes galantes or "elegant parties", which feigned to depict the aristocracy and their ritualised social gatherings, pastimes, and courting. Several later painters adopted elements from the genre but combined it with more rustic settings and characters, thereby creating more everyday-like scenes.