(In the taste of)
“Courtly Love” and “Inconstant Love”
Late 19th Century
Oil on canvas
Measurements with frames : Height : 135 cm (53 in.) ; Width : 94 cm (37 in.)
Magnificent pair of important paintings on the theme of “Fêtes galantes” and so dedicated to the art of seduction. One represents “Courtly Love”, where elegant couples walk in a park, talking and declaiming their sincere love. The other painting depicts young women and actors wooing less wisely near a gushing fountain, a lively and representative subject of “Inconstant Love”.
These works are reminiscent of the painter Antoine Watteau’s ones (1684-1721), the inventor of the “Fêtes galantes” theme, where the artist gave via these juxtaposed skits considerable importance to the attitudes and positions of bodies, expressing thus feelings in an outdoor setting.
The theme of “Fêtes galantes” quick to spur love trouble, treated with delicacy, were continued throughout the eighteenth century, thanks to the followers of Watteau, such as Jean-Baptiste Pater (1695-1736), Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743), François Boucher (1703-1770) and Jean- Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806 ).
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