One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An outdoor entertainment or rural festival, especially as depicted in 18th-century French painting.
- ‘They chat with the clowns and guitarists who entertain them in these fêtes galantes (amorous festivities) as freely as one would in an open-air party today.’
- ‘These parties became veritable fêtes galantes from which the larger spectacle could be enjoyed.’
- 1.1 A painting in the fête galante genre.
- ‘In his "fêtes galantes" Watteau focusses on a series of groups echoing each other.’
- ‘His best-known works are conversation pieces, which owe a debt to the theatre, derived from French fêtes galantes.’
- ‘Watteau's fêtes galantes, his enigmatic fantasies of courtly love, offer a feast for the eyes.’
- ‘Based loosely on a contemporary opera-ballet of the same name, the picture is a fête galante, a poetic subject Watteau made his own.’
French, literally ‘elegant festival’.
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