barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham

Nicolas Lancret (1690-1743)

Lovers in a Landscape (The Turtle Doves)

Paris, about 1736

Oil on canvas

75.3 x 97.5 cm


A young man gazes at his elegantly-dressed partner and points to a pair of turtle doves. 

The birds are the perfect model of faithful lovers who reciprocate their feelings with tenderness.  The couple’s romantic encounter in an idyllic landscape is not therefore a scene of seduction, but an image of true love soon to be fulfilled. Lancret was a follower of Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) who popularised what is known as the te galante – an amorous gathering of elegantly dressed figures in an idealised landscape.  This was the first painting purchased by the Barber Institute.


Purchased 1937 (No.37.10)

Jean Morin (c. 1590-1650)

Omer Talon


Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, after Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)

La belle Ferronnière


Henri Matisse (1869-1954)

Nude in Three-Quarter Profile, Part of the Head cut away


Rodin, Auguste (1840 – 1917)

Bust of Victor-Henri, Marquis de Rochefort-Lucay