French School, Mid 18th Century
The Hurdy Gurdy Player
Oil on canvas
Painting Size: 12.25” x 10.5”
Frame Size: 22.25” x 20.25”
This charming moonlit scene with peasants around a campfire and its monochromatic harmony place it in a tradition of genre painting that goes all the way back to Brueghel. Stylistically it is reminiscent of the early work of Antoine Watteau when he chose as his subject the life of ordinary folk rather than the fêtes galantes of the French bourgeoisie.
During the 18th century, French Rococo tastes for rustic diversions brought the hurdy gurdy to the attention of the upper classes, where it acquired tremendous popularity among the nobility, with famous composers writing works for the hurdy gurdy.