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In the clearing of a wood, revellers are shown in contemporary dress and historical costume enjoying the pleasures of a fête: some descend from a carriage, others converse, walk, and take in the sights, while in the background a carrousel turns and on the right servants provide a rude contrast to the aristocratic guests. The scene recalls the amateur theatricals, balls and masquerades held near Paris in the country properties of the aristocracy at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Lancret characteristically transforms Watteau’s poetic vision into a more prosaic genre piece, nonetheless charming in its decorative detail and rococo palette. The picture dates from the early 1720s, when Lancret was still deeply influenced by Watteau.

The Wallace Collection



Fête in a Wood




oil on canvas


H 60 x W 79.2 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1867; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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