Nicolas Lancret Biography | Oil Paintings
1-22-1690 Paris, FRA – 9-14-1743 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Nicolas Lancret first art teacher was Pierre d'Ulin, but Lancret who was acquainted with Jean-Antoine Watteau and admired his style, wanted to be taught by the same teacher who taught Watteau, so he left d'Ulin for Claude Gillot. Lancret, was twenty-two when he studied with the older Gillot from 1712 to 1713 and was very influenced by him, Gillot's style of painting slender figures can be seen in Lancret's earlier works.
Nicolas Lancret studied with the same teacher as Watteau, and Lancret worked in Watteau’s studio for a short time, their painting style is very close, he was used for finishing some details on Watteau's works. Up to 1717, they were friends, but strains were beginning to show as both painters painted similar subjects in a similar style, this has caused some of Lancrett paintings to be attributed to Watteau.
Two oil paintings by Nicolas Lancret were exhibited at the annual Exposition de la Jeunesse in 1717 at the place Dauphine, the show was a great success and laid the foundation for his fame and fortune, but it offended Watteau when people had complimented him, thinking the paintings were his. Jean-Antoine Watteau thought that the younger Lancret was copying his style and subjects, which in a way he was, they never spoke again.
The Rise of Lancret and the Fall of Watteau.
Watteau was the thirty-three years old, had an established career and was made a full member of the Académie Royale in 1717. Nicolas Lancret, on the other hand, was twenty-seven years old and beginning his artistic career. At this point, Watteau’s and Lancret’s careers went different directions. Watteau left for London in 1719, returning to France in 1720, but he was ill and not able to paint full time, so he left the Paris art scene, moving to Nogent-sur-Marne, where he died in 1721 at the age of thirty-six. Lancret was now the rising star, in 1718 he was made an Academician, from thereon becoming a very respected artist, especially among the admirers of Watteau. He showed at three Exposition de la Jeunesse in 1722 – 1724. In 1725 he received a commission from the Bâtiments du Roi and he showed several oil paintings at the Académie Salon, all this was more confirmation of his stature as a major artist.
He worked on decorative paintings for the Palace of Versailles, and his style of art was later popular with Frederick the Great. Nicolas Lancret's popularity was reflected by the choice to make him a Councilor at the Academie in 1735.
Nicolas Lancret completed many paintings, a significant proportion of which were engraved. Despite the fact that he finished several portraits and historical pieces, his most loved subjects were balls, fairs, and village weddings, and Fete Champetre, in this regard he was a typical Rococo artist.
Lancret produced his best work towards the end of his life, displaying an increasing ability to create a sense of harmony between art and nature, as in Montreir de Lanterne Magique.
Nicolas Lancret was single for much of his life but, in 1741 at the age of fifty-one, he married the 18-year-old grandchild of Boursault, the author of Aesop at Court. Lancret took pity after hearing she and her dying mother were living in an attic room in poverty, so he married her, two years later Lancret died.
Art Movement: Rococo.
Artists Influencing Nicolas Lancret: Claude Gillot, Pierre d'Ulin.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.