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Meeting Place of the Hunt
Adolphe Monticelli
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A number of grandly costumed figures are seen beside a fountain in an imaginary garden on the edge of a forest. Two men on horseback coming from the left are approaching a group of women standing in the centre but moved slightly to background. On the right, three other women and a dog are seen in front of the fountain, moving in the same direction of the horsemen.

This small panel is most probably the companion to Monticelli’s Fountain in a Park, also in the National Gallery,and both have been dated on the basis of style to about 1875–1880. In both paintings the artist evokes the eighteenth-century tradition of fêtes galantes initiated by Watteau, in which elegant figures enjoy themselves in parks and gardens.

Monticelli’s distinctive painting style, characterised by evident rapidity of execution, thick paint and blurred forms, was admired in the late nineteenth century by several artists such as Cézanne and Van Gogh.

Key facts
Artist Adolphe Monticelli
Artist dates 1824 - 1886
Full title Meeting Place of the Hunt
Series Two Gallant Scenes
Date made about 1875-80
Medium and support Oil on wood, probably mahogany
Dimensions 19.1 x 47 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented as part of the 'Harry Wearne Collection of Twelve Paintings by Monticelli' to the Tate Gallery, 1939; transferred, 1956
Inventory number NG5012
Location in Gallery Not on display
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Two Gallant Scenes

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In these two paintings, Fountain in a Park and Meeting Place of the Hunt, a number of figures on horseback and on foot gather beside a fountain. Their similar compositions, identical sizes and the fact that they are painted on matching wooden panels, suggest that they are companion pieces. They have both been dated on the basis of style to about 1875–80.

These imagined scenes, in which elegant figures wearing colourful dress enjoy themselves in parks and gardens, evoke eighteenth-century paintings known as fêtes galantes initiated by Jean-Antoine Watteau, a favourite subject for Monticelli throughout his career.

In his later years subject matter became subordinated to his distinctive colourful and thickly painted style. Presented as part of the ‘Harry Wearne Collection of Twelve Paintings by Monticelli’ to the Tate Gallery in 1939, these two paintings were transferred to the National Gallery in 1956.

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