Fine antique French 19th Century frame with laurel leaf-&-berry and bead mouldings, original water gilding
Ludovici mentions this work (or possibly the oil painting for which this may be a study) in his memoirs, An Artist’s Life in London and Paris, 1870-1925, London 1926, p.70: ‘In 1878 I was elected a member of the Society of British Artists. A picture I had just completed of Mr Coulon’s dancing class had been seen by several members of that Society, who informed me that if I would exhibit the picture they would make me a member. This picture and its companion, Signor Cruvelli’s singing class, were afterwards reproduced… by etching… The dancing class was well noticed in the papers, and was, I may say, a success.’ Ludovici’s father, Albert senior (1820-94), also produced a number of similar costume pictures, set in 18th century ballrooms and drawing-rooms. A related work by Ludovici junior is Jousting on the river of 1884, a highly-finished oil painting of a couple in 18th century dress. Monsieur Coulon’s dancing class is a more spontaneous study, its pastoral setting sketchily suggested, the focus being on the complex, Watteau-esque group of interwoven dancers. A contemporary note is struck by the foreground spectators, cut off by the borders in the manner of Degas and Caillebotte.