The Wallace Collection

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La Danse (The Dance)
  • Jean-Baptiste Pater (1695 - 1736)
  • La Danse (The Dance)
  • France
  • c.1730-1733
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 56.7 x 45.7 cm
  • P397
  • Small Drawing Room
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The painting is a beautiful example of the Fête galante, and can be dated on stylistic grounds to c. 1730/1733. It comes from a set of four (with P383, P386 and P400) that includes two musical scenes and two depictions of games that were probably meant as pairs of pendants. Versions of the two musical scenes, including "La Danse", exist in Schloss Sanssouci in Potsdam. The Potsdam painting shows a different bagpipe player on the right. Vertical scenes are relatively rare in Pater's work, and one can assume that this choice was related to the series of four that might have been painted for a specific context. The set was engraved by Pierre Fillœul 1739, each print accompanied by a sentimental poem by Charles Moraine interpreting the amorous subject matter of the picture. The background landscape evokes an ideal rustic setting combining French and Italian elements.