Dance before a Fountain 1724 Lancret " "Called a fête galante, these paintings depicted a pastoral landscape peopled by elegant figures strolling, making music, or attempting to woo their partners. Participants of the fête galante seemed uninhibited by the stiff conventions of formal society."
Marianne Cochois (c.1750). Antoine Pesne (French, 1683-1757). Oil on canvas. Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin. Marianne Cochois was the première danseuse at the Berlin Opera since 1742. Frederick the Great found her equal to Terpsichore, muse of the Dance. The painter was influenced by Lancret’s Camargo Dancing which was known at the Prussian court.
Mademoiselle de Camargo Dancing (1730). Nicolas Lancret (French, 1690-1743). Oil on canvas. The Wallace Collection. Marie Anne de Cupis de Camargo was the first great virtuoso ballerina of the Paris Opera. Lancret depicts theatrical veracity through details such as the dress and ballet position à demi-pointe. The scene is set in the sylvan park landscape of a fête galante. This setting lends the subject a poetic quality, which evokes the ephemeral charm of Mademoiselle de Camargo’s talent.