The Swing

Nicolas Lancret (French, 1690-1743)

Currently on View in H212
Image Licensing

The Swing once formed part of Lancret's best known decorative ensemble, a series of nine paintings commissioned for the Hôtel de Boullongne in Paris. In a type of decoration popularized by Watteau, these paintings were set into the carved and gilt woodwork of the room. Each painting elaborated an aspect of "The Progress of Love."

The theme of the swing was common in 18th-century French painting and should be understood as a fairly explicit allusion to carnal love. The image of a woman swinging back and forth frequently carried with it a suggestion of female inconstancy.

Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Object Information

Nicolas Lancret (French, 1690-1743)
creation date
about 1724
oil on canvas
37-3/4 x 35-1/2 in.
44-1/4 x 42-1/8 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Herman C. Krannert
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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