Nicolas Lancret was a French painter. Born in Paris, he was a brilliant depicter of light comedy which reflected the tastes and manners of French society under the Regent, the Duke of Orleans.
Lancret’s first master was Pierre d'Ulin, but his acquaintance with and admiration for Watteau induced him to leave Ulin for Gillot, whose pupil Watteau had been. Lancret, who remained a pupil of Gillot from 1712–1713, was heavily influenced by the older painter, whose typical slender figures can be found in many of his pupil's younger works. Two pictures painted by Lancret and exhibited on the Place Dauphine had a great success, which laid the foundation of his fortune, and, it is said, estranged Watteau, who had been complimented as their author. In 1718 he was received as an Academician, from thereon becoming a very respected artist, especially amongst the admirers of Watteau. He completed works to decorate the Palace of Versailles, while his style was later to prove popular with Frederick the Great. Lancret's popularity was reflected by the decision to make him a councillor at the Academie in 1735.