Currently on View in H212
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.