Nicolas Lancret


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Author: Nicolas Lancret
Painting, Oil on canvas, 115x95 cm
Origin: France, Circa 1730

This is one of a series of paintings of the seasons. Bathing on a sunny day is immediately evocative of the heat of summer and provided an opportunity to depict female figures in a state of undress.

A follower and imitator of Antoine Watteau, Lancret mastered the outer manifestations of his style and took up the theme of "fetes galantes", which Watteau had introduced. He was one of a number of artists often described collectively as the School of Watteau.

Allegories of the seasons were very popular in the 18th century and Lancret turned to the subject on a number of occasions, repeating this series several times. The decorative nature of the painting and its hint of eroticism in the relaxed bathers, unselfconsciously displaying their breasts, made the series popular with contemporaries.

The Hermitage also has another work from the series, Spring.

Source of entry: acquired from the picture dealer G. Klosterman, St Petersburg, 1782
Exibition: French Art: 15th - 18th centuries

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