|The Music Party|
Philippe Mercier, 1733
The Royal Collection
This painting was criticized for a number of reasons. First of all, Frederick’s love of playing the cello was considered unseemly and not appropriate for a man of his station. Similarly, the princesses are attired in costumes which were considered common and not the stuff of royalty. Still, Mercier argued that he depicted the scene as it actually happened.
One of three versions of this same scene, the other two, painted after this one, show the sitters in a more opulent outdoor setting and in costumes which were generally considered to be more fitting to their royal dignity.