Lancret’s mature style is admirably represented by this picture, with its pair P478, which together display the influence of Dutch genre painting in their meticulous finish and lively depiction of nature, seen most beautifully in the landscape of 'The Bird Catchers'. Lancret is here revealed as an artist of some versatility, able to respond quickly to the latest visual trends. It is unclear whether Lancret’s subject was influenced by Boucher, or whether he was responding simultaneously to the same theatrical influences in creating a more genre-like version of a similar subject. Certainly the figures in Lancret’s painting wear theatrical costume rather than realistic peasant clothing, and are engaged in an activity imbued with the same amorous overtones. 'The Bird Catchers' and 'Pastoral Revels' belonged in the eighteenth century to a succession of distinguished owners including César-Gabriel, duc de Praslin and his grandson Antoine-César, duc de Choiseul et Praslin.
Where to see this painting?
The Wallace Collection
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