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Fête Galante

Although he was born in Berlin to French Huguenot parents, Mercier is most closely associated with English art. He arrived in London in 1716 and from 1729 to 1736 he was painter to the Prince of Wales. Mercier’s work reveals the influence of French Rococo painters, notably Antoine Watteau, particularly in his choice of subject matter. The subject of this painting is a fête galante, a type of genre scene that features figures in ball or masquerade costumes enjoying pleasurable—often amorous—activities in idealized landscapes.

Philippe Mercier
Franco-German (active in England), 1689/91‒1760
Fête Galante
Early 18th century
Oil on canvas
25 ¾ x 28 ¾ in. (65.4 x 73.0 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 60.25