The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Pastoral Revels
  • Nicolas Lancret (1690 - 1743)
  • Pastoral Revels
  • France
  • 1738
  • Painting
  • Oil on copper
  • Image size: 32.5 x 40.7 cm
  • Inscription: 'Peint par Lancret / 1738.'
  • P478
  • Small Drawing Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The painting and its pendant, P436, depict love in two different ways. Its painting takes the bird hunt as an obvious erotic allegory, whereas this painting depicts an ideal, contemporary scene of love. The paintings are fine examples of Lancret's late style. Lancret emulated Netherlandish works in the high finish of the two paintings. Very unusually for his work, he painted them on silver-coated copper, a support that helps to highlights this effect.

    P478 is a typical Fête galante, an idealised social gathering in the open air as introduced by Antoine Watteau. 'Pastoral Revels' is based on a larger composition that Lancret exhibited at the Salon of 1737 ('Blind Man's Buff (Le Jeu de Colin-Maillard)', Potsdam, Stfitung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg, GK I 5608, Schloss Sanssouci). The Wallace and the Potsdam paintings feature similar stairs that are based on the work of architectural painter Jacques de Lajoüe. In the case of the two Wallace Collection pendants, he combined this composition with an allegorical genre scene.

    Both paintings belonged in the eighteenth century to a succession of distinguished owners including César-Gabriel, duc de Praslin and his grandson Antoine-César, duc de Choiseul et Praslin.