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date: 11 November 2019

Lancret, Nicolaslocked

(b Paris, Jan 22, 1690; d Paris, Sept 14, 1743).
  • Mary Tavener Holmes


(b Paris, Jan 22, 1690; d Paris, Sept 14, 1743).

French painter, draughtsman and collector. He was one of the most prolific and imaginative genre painters of the first half of the 18th century in France, and, although after his death he was long regarded as a follower and imitator of Antoine Watteau, his work is markedly personal and often innovative (see fig.). He began training as an engraver but soon apprenticed himself to Pierre Dulin (1669–1748), a moderately successful history painter; by 1708 he had enrolled as a student at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Paris. At an unknown date he entered the workshop of the genre and decorative painter Claude Gillot, who had been Watteau’s master. This move signalled an important change of direction away from the history painting pursued by his friend François Lemoyne. Two contemporary biographers, Ballot de Sovot and Dézallier D’Argenville, suggest that Lancret’s move to Gillot was the result of the increasing popularity of Watteau’s genre scenes of elegant figures in garden settings. Although he never studied formally under Watteau—whom he probably met around ...

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