Decoration for a Masked Ball at Versailles, on the Occasion of the Marriage of Louis, Dauphin of France, and Maria Theresa, Infanta of Spain (Bal masqué donné par le roi, dans la grande galerie de Versailles, pour le mariage de Dauphin, 1745)

Artist: Charles Nicolas Cochin I (French, Paris 1688–1754 Paris)

Artist: after Charles Nicolas Cochin II (French, Paris 1715–1790 Paris)

Date: ca. 1860 reprint of 1764 plate

Medium: Etching with engraving

Dimensions: 18 3/4 x 30 1/4 in. (47.6 x 76.8 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1930

Accession Number: 30.22(34.34)

Description

In 1745, the marriage of Louis XV's son was celebrated with a masqued ball held at the royal château at Versailles. The event was afterwards dubbed the Yew Tree Ball because the king and his attendants had arrived dressed as topiary yew trees. Cochin's engraving memorializing the celebration shows many of the attendees in Turkish and Chinese costumes. Visible in this detail are six gargantuan and massively turbaned Turks. Their exaggerated forms suggest the taste for exoticism, a vogue that reached its peak in Paris in the 1740s.

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