"Le Menuet de la Cour" drawing attributed to Le Couteur C0455
Published by George Mason University Libraries
The Minuet, or "le Menuet" in French, was a couple's dance, and was massively popular in the 17th and 18th century French and English courts. It was especially popular during the reign of Louis XIV of France. The minuet was known for its extremely intricate moves, and was synonymous with etiquette and class ranking. According to dance historian Julia Sutton, "Following the strictest order of protocol, each couple danced alone before their peers and addressed the Presence (those personages of highest rank who sat at the top of the hall) while, presumably, they entertained each other through their charm and flirtatiousness. The goal was to demonstrate by their exquisite manners, dress, and skill that they were indeed worthy adornments to society; their observers were active participants in the dance as well, judging every step and gesture with the utmost refinement and - should the dancers be truly elegant and charming - with great pleasure." The dance was so popular, minuet sequences appeared in operas and symphonies of the day, including Mozart's "Don Giovanni" and Handel's "Berenice."
Original pencil drawing of a couple performing the minuet, with accompanying musicians and onlookers, presumably set in a French ball. The drawing is titled "Le Menuet de la Cour" which translates from the French to "The Minuet of the Court." The drawing is attributed to Le Couteur, created circa 1775. There is an inscription on the back from 1819.
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This drawing is roughly 16" by 20".
"Le Menuet de la Cour" drawing attributed to Le Couteur, C0455, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
Purchased by Steve Gerber from J & J Lubrano Music Antiquarians on 10/13/2011.
Processing completed by Amanda Brent in September 2020. EAD markup completed by Amanda Brent in September 2020. This item was formerly part of the Performing Arts Manuscript Materials collection, C0215.
The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Minuet." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaeia Britannica, inc., September 18, 2019. https://www.britannica.com/art/minuet.
The Minuet: An Elegant PhoenixAuthor(s): Julia SuttonSource: Dance Chronicle, 1985, Vol. 8, No. 3/4 (1985), pp. 119-152Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.Stable URL: http://www.jstor.com/stable/1567579.