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A Dancing Party in a Park-like Landscape. Pen and gray and black ink over graphite, gray wash. 31.2 x 48.8 cm. Signed: Daniel Marot fecit.
The present drawing is a charming testimonial to the drawing skills of Daniel Marot the Younger, who came from a Franco-Dutch family of artists. His father Daniel Marot the Elder (1663 Paris – 1752 The Hague) was a prominent architect, ornamental draughtsman, and engraver, who on behalf of the House of Orange had done a great deal to spread the Louis XIV style in the Netherlands. In 1695/96 Marot was active in England, where he helped design the appointments and garden architecture of Hampton Court, Kensington Court and perhaps also Windsor Castle. His son, Daniel Marot the Younger, was born in London in 1695 during this stay in England. He received his training as a painter, draughtsman, and engraver from his father and by 1723 was a full member of the painters’ guild in The Hague. Evidently Daniel II was very close to his father, since all his life he assisted him with major commissions. Only a few series of engravings of townscapes and garden architecture have come down to us, and the drawn œuvre is also limited, having evidently been preserved in a very incomplete form. The Rijksprentenkabinet in Amsterdam possesses a group of drawings featuring fountains, vases and gardens. Individual works are to be found in other public collections in Leiden and The Hague as well as in the British Museum in London.
Our drawing is executed in a swift, fluid technique which betrays a practised hand. The details of the colourful costumes, which are inspired by the Commedia dell’arte, are rendered with narrative enthusiasm. This form of theatre enjoyed great popularity in Holland during the so-called Régence period. The work of the Amsterdam painter and draughtsman Cornelis Troost (1696–1750), who was born about the same time as Daniel Marot, also contains many related motifs from the world of the theatre.