The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Mademoiselle de Camargo (Mlle. Camargo)
  • Nicolas Lancret (1690 - 1743)
  • Mademoiselle de Camargo (Mlle. Camargo)
  • France
  • 1730
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 41.7 x 54.5 cm
    Made up to, Object size: 43.2 x 55 cm
  • P393
  • Small Drawing Room
Further Reading
  • Marie-Anne Cuppi de Camargo was one of the most important dancers of the eighteenth century, a member of the first generation of female lead dancers on French stages. Lancret painted the Wallace Collection portrait as a model for the engraver Laurent Cars who published the angraving of the same size in 1730. Because of the great success; Lancret painted a similar portrait of Camargo's main rival, Maria Sallé in 1731/1732 (Rheinsberg, Schloss, Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg) that was engraved by Nicolas de Larmessin and published with verses by Voltaire. Lancret's first Camargo portarit was probably a large Fête galante in Washington that included the dancing Camargo, he equally included Sallé in a larger Fête galante in Berlin. Two almost identical autograph versions of the Wallace Collection Camargo portrait are now in Nantes and in St Petersburg. The combination of Camargo and Sallé stressed their different dance styles - athletic in the case of Camargo, graceful for Sallé.
    The two paintings were together in important eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collections (Leriget de la Faye, Cottin, Prince Heinrich of Prussia, Pereire), before they were separated.