The Fair at Bezons

Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater French

Not on view

This painting, Pater’s masterpiece, depicts a fair held outside Paris each year on the first Sunday in September. The event inspired a stage play, a ballet-pantomime, and several works of art during the eighteenth century, when popular entertainment regularly inspired high culture. People from all classes of society are depicted enjoying the festivities; the idyllic, make-believe atmosphere derives from the work of Antoine Watteau. The principal dancer may be Mademoiselle d'Angeville, a famous actress. Behind her is Pierrot, a stock character in commedia dell’arte skits.

The Fair at Bezons, Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater (French, Valenciennes 1695–1736 Paris), Oil on canvas

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