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Oil on canvas
Framed: 157 x 43 x 5.5 cm (61 13/16 x 16 15/16 x 2 3/16 in.); Unframed: 151 x 36.5 cm (59 7/16 x 14 3/8 in.)
Gift of the Louis Dudley Beaumont Foundation 1948.176
This whimsical series is one typically found in fashionable, elite Parisian residences of the eighteenth century. Panel paintings of this variety were created to decorate the space above chair rails and in between doors and windows, and Lancret's series was painted for a room in the Pavillon d'Hauteville in Paris. In keeping with the eighteenth-century French tradition of depicting the four seasons or the times of the day, Lancret's five decorative panels have a unifying theme. Pastoral activities and games, favored themes of Lancret, are the overarching motifs, and depict afternoon pastimes, set in nature. Three of the panels, the Swing, the See Saw, and the Vineyard, depict lithe, youthful duets playfully engaging in the outdoor pleasures, while the narrower panels, the Gardener and Horticulture, host individual figures cultivating lush, private gardens. Despite the disparate subjects, stylistic details unify the series, including the delicate arabesques derived from nature that frame the scenes, and similar flora and fauna in each panel.
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