LANCRET, Nicolas French painter (b. 1690, Paris, d. 1743, Paris).
French painter, draughtsman and collector. He was one of the most prolific and imaginative genre painters of the first half of the 18th century in France, and, although after his death he was long regarded as a follower and imitator of Antoine Watteau, his work is markedly personal and often innovative. He began training as an engraver but soon apprenticed himself to Pierre Dulin (1669-1748), a moderately successful history painter; by 1708 he had enrolled as a student at the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Paris. At an unknown date he entered the workshop of the genre and decorative painter Claude Gillot, who had been Watteau's master. This move signalled an important change of direction away from the history painting pursued by his friend Francois Lemoyne. Two contemporary biographers, Ballot de Sovot and D?zallier D'Argenville Lady and Gentleman with two Girls and a Servant sf 1742
Oil on canvas, 89 x 98 cm
National Gallery, London