The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
A Gallant Conversation
  • Nicolas Lancret (1690 - 1743)
  • A Gallant Conversation
  • France
  • 1719
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 68.3 x 53.5 cm
    Made up to, Object size: 73.7 x 58 cm
  • P422
  • Small Drawing Room
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • The commedia dell’arte characters Mezzetin, Pierrot and Colombine, the last two wearing matching silver-grey costumes, are seated with other figures in contemporary dress in a parkland setting. One of two reception pieces which earned Lancret admission to the Academy as a painter of fêtes galantes in 1719, A Gallant Conversation demonstrates Lancret’s early debt to Watteau in subject matter and handling. Lancret was advised by Watteau to sketch landscapes from nature and complete them with figures. Watteau was so pleased with Lancret’s first two attempts that he is supposed to have embraced the young artist. Lancret became so adept at Watteau’s manner that the two artists eventually quarrelled when Lancret’s pictures began to be mistaken for works by Watteau. By the time the work was included in the 1871 Hertford House inventory it was indeed listed as a work by Watteau.