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Nicolas Lancret

1690 - 1743

Lancret was one of the chief followers of Watteau in early 18th-century France, producing fêtes galantes and conversation pieces in a style similar to that of Watteau. Like his English contemporary, Hogarth, Lancret profited from prints made after his paintings. Unlike Hogarth, whose work looked at the underside of life, Lancret painted aristocrats engaged in playful pursuits.

Lancret was the son of a coachman; he was trained by Pierre Dulin, a history painter, and then by Claude Gillot, and was received into the Academy in 1719 with a Watteauesque 'Conversation Galante'. After the deaths of Watteau (1721) and Gillot (1722) he received considerable acclaim for his fêtes galantes. He received his first royal commission in 1725.