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


Oil on canvas, 69 x 89 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Lancret received early instruction in engraving and drawing, then at the age of 17 became the assistant of the history painter Pierre Dulin in Paris. He was not very successful in this field and the hoped for Rome prize of the Academy was not forthcoming, so on entering the studio of Gillot, who had also been the master of Watteau, Lancret gave up history painting. Two landscapes secured him membership of the Academy in 1718. His pictures show from the very beginning the influence of Watteau, with whom he soon quarrelled. A renewed attempt at history painting failed in 1723/24. He now devoted himself to the pastoral idyll and "fetes galantes". His pictures made him something of a mediator between Watteau and Fragonard, although he never achieved their subtle poetic qualities.