Object Image

Costumed Dancers Performing in a Garden Tavern

The exaggerated lifted legs of the dancers imply a comic, theatrical style; no social dance during the 18th century would have permitted such pronounced leg gestures, especially for a woman. Both dancers wear jackets with irregular hemlines decorated with round bells similar to those found on jesters' costumes. The lanterns and swags of flowers strung from trees and the small orchestra playing on the right suggest a guinguette, or outdoor tavern with a pleasure garden.

Credit: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund...

1756
Brush and brown and gray wash, with gouache, watercolor, and traces of graphite
19.8 x 31.3cm
1966.124
Image and text: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2023

Where you'll find this

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Permanent collection