National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Three Figures Dressed for a Masquerade Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain (painter)
French, 1715 - 1759
Three Figures Dressed for a Masquerade, c. 1740s
oil on canvas
overall: 166.4 x 127 cm (65 1/2 x 50 in.) framed: 188.6 x 147.3 x 11.4 cm (74 1/4 x 58 x 4 1/2 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1961.9.92
On View
From the Tour: 18th-Century France — The Rococo and Watteau
Object 8 of 9

The costumes and setting here suggest a masquerade, perhaps in Venice. Like the elegant and enigmatic trio depicted, however, the painting remains mysterious. It has been attributed to many different artists, most recently Le Lorrain, a little-known artist who spent nine years in Italy and was recognized primarily as a "painter of ruins." Le Lorrain also designed interiors, furniture (including a neoclassical suite in a portrait by Greuze in the Gallery's collection), and sets for public spectacles (like Louis XV's coronation). The frosty colors and cold, hard light in this painting appear similar to those in another work by Le Lorrain, but few of his works exist for comparison. Eventually he accepted an invitation from Catherine the Great to head the Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, dying there only a few months after he arrived.

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