Lot 245
  • 245

Nicolas Lancret

100,000 - 150,000 USD
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  • Nicolas Lancret
  • "Que le coeur d'un amant est sujet à changer..."; "D'un baiser que Tircis..."
  • a pair, both oil on canvas
  • Each: 15 3/8 x 10 1/4 inches


Nicolas Beaujon (1708-1786), Paris;
His Estate sale, Paris, P. Rémy & C.F. Julliot, fils, 25 April - 4 May 1787, lot 215;
There acquired by the dealer, Jean Baptiste Pierre Le Brun (1748-1813), Paris;
Jules Porgès (1839-1921), Paris;
By whom sold, Brussels, Galerie Fievez, 3-4 July 1919, lots 37 and 38;
de Wendel collection;
Anonymous sale ("Madame D..."), Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 3 October 1980, unnumbered lots;
There acquired by the present owner.


London, Wildenstein, La Douceur de vivre: Art, Style and Decoration in XVIIIth Century France, 1 June - 29 July 1983, p. 59, no number;
Tokyo, Wildenstein, Masterpieces of European Art, 18 May - 19 June 1992, nos. 4 and 5.


G. Wildenstein, Lancret, Paris 1924, p. 91, cat. nos. 299-300, 301-302, 307-308 (incorrectly catalogues both works two additional times, under the Beaujon and Porgès sale catalogue references), reproduced figs. 82 and 83 (Silvestre engravings);
London, Wallace Collection and elsewhere, Theatres of Life: Drawings from the Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor, exhibition catalogue, 2007-2009, p. 153, no. 4.

Engraved by Suzanee Élisabeth Silvestre (1694-circa 1735), later Madame Jean Baptiste Lemoyne I.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This pair of paintings has been restored and re-framed. No further attention is necessarily recommended. Both canvases have been lined and the paint layers are cleaned and retouched. In the composition with the musician, weakness and abrasion that has developed in the tree, foliage and also within the figures has been restored. Some of this restoration is visible under ultraviolet light. The condition of the other composition is better and the figures are still quite well preserved, but there is some thinness in the softer colors of the foliage.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Engravings of these compositions, by Suzanne Élisabeth Silvestre, are accompanied by the text of pastoral poems, the first verses of which contain the two paintings’ traditional titles.1  The figure of the bagpipe player in Que le coeur d’un amant was repeated by Lancret in the Minuet, a painting formerly in the Alfred Charles de Rothschild collection and now in the Staatlilche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, and the same figure also appears in a decorative panel formerly in the Hôtel de Boullongne in the Place Vendôme, Paris (now in the Musée des Arts Decoratifs).  A drawing of the this same musician, at one time in the collection of Baron Edmond de Rothschild, was included in the James Armand de Rochschild bequest to The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire.2

Mary Taverner Holmes has seen these paintings firsthand and dates them to early in Lancret’s career, circa 1720.


1.  For the full text of the poems see E. Bocher, Gravures françaises du XVIIIe siècle, part 4, "Nicloas Lancret," Paris 1877.
2.  See R. Akpabio, “Five Drawings by Nicolas Lancret at Waddesdon Manor,” in Apollo, CLV, No. 482, April 2002, p. 42, reproduced p. 41, fig. 1.