Lancret, Nicolas. 1690-1743

Mlle Camargo Dancing

France, first half of the 18th century

Lancret was one of the most talented followers of Antoine Watteau. He produced numerous portraits of actors and actresses, often showing them on stage or in performance. Such is this small portrait of one of the most educated women of the 18th century, friend of the philosophers Helvetius and Voltaire - Marie-Anne Cupis de Camargo (1710-1770), a famous dancer who introduced numerous innovations to the ballet, including the ballet pumps used to this day, and new steps, the pirouette and the fouette. Lancret depicted her dancing lightly, paying great attention to her attire and the group of musicians right on the stage amongst the scenery, according to 18th-century tradition. With its soft poetic landscape background, its golden colouring, and the expressive movements of the slight, elegant Camargo, we see a pronounced expression of the rococo style, already well formed by the 1730s.


Mlle Camargo Dancing






45x55 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1902; handed over from the Winter Palace; formerly in the collection of Prince Henry of Prussia

Inventory Number:




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