This colorful and gleeful genre painting is from France, circa 1770. Genre paintings depict people engaged in common activities, such as picnicking, strolling through a park, or romantic settings. In the 17th and 18th centuries, paintings of this style typically came from France, The Netherlands, and Belgium. This particular painting can be considered to be after Nicolas Lancret, the French painter whose works are currently displayed in the British Museum and the National Gallery in London, among others.
The shaped canvas has been attached to a wooden stretcher via old nail heads. Utilizing shades of green, blue, and white as major colors, the artist has depicted a joyous scene of young aristocrats spending an afternoon in a forest clearing. A man in blue pants with a yellow striped shirt with ruffled sleeves is sitting on a rock strumming a lute. He is wearing a red toque (a brimless hat) and looking towards his left at a young girl in a brown dress sitting in the grass. The girl is holding a long-stemmed flower while a small dog stands beside her.
A woman in a white and brown dress with a flower in her hair sits beside the musician on the rock. She is also looking at the young girl, as is a third female sitting directly in front of the musician. This young woman has on a vibrant blue and red dress with a flowing blue ribbon in her hair. Trees and greenery surround the group and a large hill or mountain can be seen in the distance beneath the blue sky.
The 18th century painting was either once an inset overdoor panel that would have been hung above an entryway or the upper section of a trumeau mirror. Today, this painted canvas, with its gently curving contour and vibrant colors, can be hung and appreciated as is.
CONDITION: Very good condition with minor rubs and losses. Slight craquelure to the paint. Painting was relined.