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Nicolas Lancret (Paris 1690-1743)
Nicolas Lancret (Paris 1690-1743)

'Que le coeur d'un amant est sujet à changer' ('That the Heart of a Lover is Subject to Change')

Nicolas Lancret (Paris 1690-1743)
'Que le coeur d'un amant est sujet à changer' ('That the Heart of a Lover is Subject to Change')
oil on canvas
38 3/8 x 51 1/8 in. (97.3 x 129.6 cm.)
Lady Ashburton, Farnham.
Edouard Jonas, Paris, by 1924.
Comte de Fels.
with Galerie Cailleux, Paris, from at least 1959 to 1968, where acquired by the following
Private collection; Christie's, New York, 21 October 1997, lot 129 ($310,500), where acquired by the present owner.
G. Wildenstein, Lancret, Paris, 1924, p. 91, no. 310.
Figaro artistique, Paris, 25 December 1924, p. 163.
L. Reau, Histoire de la Peinture Française au XVIIIe Siècle, Paris and Brussels, 1925, I, p. 22, pl. 16.
S. de Ricci, The Finest Works of Nicolas Lancret, Paris, 1925.
C. Gronkowski, 'Regards sur une exposition prochaine: Le Paysage Francsis de Poussin a Corot', La Renaissance, Paris, February 1925, p. 58-9.
J. Faton-Boyance and B. Mura, 'Morceaux Choisis de La Biennale des Antiquaires', in L'Objet D'Art, no. 240, October 1990, pp. 118-19.
Paris, Petit Palais, Le Paysage Français de Poussin à Corot, May-June 1925, no. 163.
Zurich, Kunsthaus Zürich, Scho¨nheit des 18. Jahrhunderts: Malerei, Plastik, Porzellan, Zeichnung, 10 September-6 November 1955, no. 169.
Montreal, The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Quebec, Le Musée de la Province du Quebec; Ottawa, The National Gallery of Canada; and Toronto, The Art Gallery of Toronto, He´ritage de France: French painting 1610-1760, 6 October 1961-18 March 1962, no. 33.
Paris, Galerie Cailleux, Watteau et sa génération, March-April 1968, no. 95.
Bordeaux, Galerie des Beaux-arts, L'art et la musique, 30 May-30 September 1969.
Tokyo, Odakyu Grand Gallery; Umeda-Osaka, Daimaru Museum; Hokkaido Hakodate Museum of Art; Yokohama, Sogo Museum of Art, Three Masters of French Rococo: Boucher, Fragonard, Lancret, 4 April-12 August 1990, no. 50.
Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, on loan.

Condition report

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Lot Essay

Of the several depictions of this subject by Lancret, the present picture is by far the largest and most accomplished, and gives the greatest prominence to a lush landscape setting. Other versions, extant or recorded, are small vertical canvases that are sometimes paired with versions of D'un Baiser que Tircis...; one of these pairs was engraved by Silvestre (see Wildenstein, op. cit., figs. 82-3) with captions that explain their subjects (fig. 1). In Que le Coeur d'un Amant..., the bagpipe player, who had once loved Silvie, is now oblivious to her jealous gaze and has eyes only for his coy new love, Lisette. A drawing of the pipes player was in the collection of Baron Edmond de Rothschild in the late 19th century and is today in Waddesdon Manor; the same figure appears in an overdoor from the Salon of the Hôtel de Boullongne (Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris).

This is probably a work of the late 1720s or early 1730s, a dating confirmed by Mary Tavener Holmes. Its silvery palette and creamy handling of paint display Lancret's talents at their most seductive; rarely did the artist come as close to finding a visual language to equal the pastoral poetry of Watteau's late, monumental fêtes champêtres.

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