Nicolas Lancret France
1-22-1690 Paris, FRA – 9-14-1743 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Nicolas Lancret first master was Pierre d'Ulin, but his acquaintance with and admiration for Watteau induced him to leave d'Ulin for Gillot, whose pupil Watteau had been. Lancret, who remained a pupil of Gillot from 1712–1713, was heavily influenced by the older painter, whose typical slender figures can be found in many of his pupil's younger works. Two pictures painted by Nicolas Lancret and exhibited on the Place Dauphine had a great success, which laid the foundation of his fortune, and, estranged Watteau, who had been complimented as their author. In 1718 he was received as an Academician, from thereon becoming a very respected artist, especially amongst the admirers of Watteau. He completed works to decorate the Palace of Versailles, while his style was later to prove popular with Frederick the Great. Nicolas Lancret's populairty was reflected by the decision to make him a councilor at the Academie in 1735.
Nicolas Lancret completed numerous paintings, a significant proportion of which were engraved. Although he completed several portraits and historical pieces his favorite subjects were balls, fairs, village weddings and so forth. In this respect he was typical of Rococo artists. Some have claimed Lancret's work is significantly inferior to that of Watteau.
It is generally considered that the artist produced his best work towards the latter end of his life, displaying an increasing ability to create a sense of harmony between art and nature, as in Montreir de lanterne magique.
The British Museum possesses an admirable series of studies by Nicolas Lancret in red chalk, and the National Gallery, London, shows four paintings—the "Four Ages of Man", cited by d'Argenville amongst the principal works of Lancret.
Nicolas Lancret was single for much of his life; however in 1741 he married the 18 year old grandchild of Boursault, author of Aesop at Court. Supposedly Lancret was induced to marry her after finding her and her dying mother living in poverty in an attic room and hearing that the daughter was soon to be compelled to enter a convent. Lancret died two years later.
Art Movement: Rococo
Influences: Claude Gillot, Pierre d'Ulin