The Country Dance

Object Details


The Country Dance


Gabriel Jacques de Saint-Aubin (French, 1724 - 1780)




about 1760 - 1762


Oil on canvas


52.4 x 65.4 cm (20 5/8 x 25 3/4 in.)

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In this ambitious composition, fifty figures occupy themselves in activities ranging from the pure frivolity of dancing to the tenderness of a caress shared by mother and child. Inspired by Jean-Antoine Watteau's fêtes galantes, in which elegant people engage in a variety of diversions, often in an idealized park or garden setting, Gabriel de Saint-Aubin devised a similar rural subject.

During the 1700s, country dances had become a popular form of summer entertainment for Parisian society. A tireless chronicler of his time, Saint-Aubin surely would have viewed these dances and theatrical performances on the outskirts of Paris. Drawing on the wit and meticulous observation seen in Dutch paintings of peasants in the 1500s and 1600s, Saint-Aubin refined the rustic folk in a characteristically French Rococo treatment.

by 1959

Private Dealer (Stockholm, Sweden)

1959 - 1971

Galerie Cailleux (Paris, France), sold to a private collector, 1971.

1971 -

Private Collection (Paris, France)

by 1983 - 1984

Didier Aaron & Cie (Paris, France), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

French Paintings of the Eighteenth Century (April 27 to June 04, 1983) (Cat. 18)
  • Didier Aaron, Inc. (New York, New York), April 27 to June 4, 1983