The Dance

The Dance

French, 1695-1736
The Dance, about 1730
Oil on canvas
Museum purchase

Copyright Notice

Pater studied with the great eighteenth-century master Jean-Antoine Watteau, from whose work he often borrowed. Like Watteau, he favored the theme known as fête galante, a romantic grouping of elegant figures within a dreamlike landscape. These paintings reflect a shift in French art from the grand and stately Baroque manner of the seventeenth century to the more intimate and refined style of the early eighteenth century known as Rococo. By this time painting was no longer primarily a court art but an art of society, and the interaction between men and women was often treated in a lighthearted manner, as in The Dance.

As the number of paintings commissioned by private patrons increased during the Rococo period, many artists repeated the same theme. Pater, despite this repetition, always maintained a sensitive handling of delicate colors and a penchant for careful detail, especially in the figures.




55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609
(+1) 508-799-4406


Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm
Third Thursdays until 8pm
For closing days and Shop, Café, and Library hours, see our Hours and Admission page.

WAM member sticker


When you become a Member of the Worcester Art Museum, you join a group of interesting and inquisitive people enjoying a number of great benefits.

Browse Membership levels, benefits and discounts