Fêtes Vénitiennes

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Fêtes Vénitiennes
Jean-Antoine Watteau - Fêtes Venitiennes - Google Art Project.jpg
ArtistAntoine Watteau
Mediumoil on canvas
Dimensions56 cm × 46 cm (22 in × 18 in)
LocationNational Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh

Fêtes Vénitiennes  is a 1719 painting by Antoine Watteau, now in the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh, to which it was bequeathed in 1861 by Lady Murray of Henderland, widow of John Murray, Lord Murray. It takes its title from a 1732 engraving of the work by Laurent Cars and is derived from the Venetian styles of dress and dancing shown in the work, the former inspired by the commedia dell'arte. It belongs to the fêtes galantes genre created by Watteau.[1]

The main dancer in the centre may be the leading actress Charlotte Desmares (the mistress of the Duc d'Orleans), whilst some identify the dancer in the black hat as the Flemish painter Nicolas Vleughels, a friend of Watteau. These two dancers are shown dancing a minuet, with other figures sitting in the background. These include a man courting a woman, two women talking to an actor and a self-portrait of the painter as a musician holding a set of bagpipes – these had had a sexual symbolism since the Middle Ages, such as in Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights. Behind this seated group are two more people and a fountain.[2]


  1. ^ "Catalogue entry".
  2. ^ Baur, Eva-Gesine (2005). "El rococó y el neoclasicismo". Los maestros de la pintura occidental (in Spanish). Taschen. p. 350. ISBN 3-8228-4744-5.

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