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La Danse paysanne (copy 1)

Entered February 2020

Accord parfait copy 1

 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 60.71.20
Oil on panel
Diameter 21.6 cm

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

The Country Dance
The Minuet

 

PROVENANCE

Peterborough and London, John Joshua Proby, 1st Earl of Carysfort (d. 1828). His  sale and others, London, Christie's, June 14, 1828, lot 29: "Watteau . . . . A pair, small, a Masquerade and Musical conversation." Sold for £63.

London, collection of Samuel Rogers. His sale, London, Christie’s, April 28, 1856, lot 267: “WATTEAU . . . A concert—the companion [to lot 66, A Masquerade]. From the Earl of Carysfort’s Collection.” Sold for £183.15 to Mawson.

Hampton Lucy, Warwick, collection of Reverend John Lucy (d. 1874). His sale and others, London, Christie's, May 1, 1875, lot 88: "Watteau, A Dance Champêtre, seven figures — small circle / 8 in. diam.” Sold together with lot 89, “A Musical Conversation," for £535.10 to Wertheimer.

London, with Wertheimer.

Westbury Manor, Brackley, and London, collection of Sir Edward Henry Scott, 5th Baronet (1842-1883), by descent to his son Samuel.

Westbury Manor, Brackley, and London, collection of Sir Samuel Edward Scott, 6th Baronet (1883–1924). His and others’ sale, London, Christie's, July 4, 1924, lot 150:  “WATTEAU . . . THE MINUET; and A FETE CHAMPÊTRE—a pair / On panel, circular—7½ in. diam.” According to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the Frick Art Reference Library, the pair sold for £32-55-1 to Colnaghi.

London, with Colnaghi; sold to William R. Timken in 1926.

New York, collection of William R. Timken (1866–1949; roller bearing industrialist); by descent to his widow Lillian S. Timken.

New York, collection of Lillian S. Timken (1881-1959); bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 
SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

"Additions to the Collections” (1960), 36.

Canaday, "Flip of Coin" (1960), 77.

Ferré, Watteau, (1972), 1: under 1875; 2: 759-60,  cat. P58; 3: cat. P 58; 4: 1106, 1201.

Wallace, McDonagh, et al., Dance (1986).

Baetjer, European Paintings (1995), 368. 

Chrisman-Campbell in French Art of the Eighteenth Century (2008), 388–89 n. 23.

 

REMARKS

This copy after La Danse paysanne, and its pendant, a copy after La Cascade, were executed after Watteau’s original panels were cut down to a circular format around 1780-85, which  means more than a half century after Watteau’s death.  While there were some critics who championed the Timken pictures, modern scholars are unanimous in rejecting them. Metropolitan Museum conservator George Bisacca has found a curious anomaly: whereas the wood grain of La Danse paysanne runs horizontally the wood grain under La Cascade runs diagonally, and the panel is thinner.   


 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 2)

Entered February 2020


Accord parfait copy 2

 

Whereabouts unknown

Oil on panel

45.1 x 36.7 cm

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Dancers in a Woodland Glade

Danse au parc

 

PROVENANCE

London, Sotheby’s, March 6,1957, lot 153: “WATTEAU . . .  LA DANSE AU PARC, CONCERT CHAMPÉTRE, young couples dancing in a wooded glade and walking by a fountain, a pair / each 17¾in. by 13¼ in. (2). The pair sold for £320 to D. Vanderkar.

Billinghurst, Sotheby’s Sussex, May 24, 1995, lot 237: After Jean Antoine Watteau, Dancers in a Woodland Glade, oil on panel, Height 15.2 in, width 12 in. / Height 38.5 cm.; Width 30.5 cm. Sold for £1,322 with premium.

 

REMARKS

As the reversed direction of the painting shows, it was copied from Audran’s engraving after Watteau’s composition.

 

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 3)

Entered February 2020

Accord parfait copy 3


Dijon, Musée des beaux-arts, inv. 352

Oil on canvas

25 x 33 cm

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

La Danse

 

PROVENANCE

(?) Dijon, collection of Madame Dècle; bequeathed to the museum.

 

EXHIBITIONS

Mons, Trésors d’art du Hainaut (1953), cat. 327 (oeuvres attribués à Watteau, La Danse, lent by Musée, Dijon).

Dijon, Musée, La Musique dans l’art ancien (1965), cat. 18.

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Marcel, “Une Oeuvre de Watteau” (1904), 372-78.

Réau, “Watteau” (1928), under cat. 80.

Adhémar, Watteau (1950), under cat. 117.

Dijon, Musée, Catalogue de peintures françaises (1968), cat. 352.

Macchia and Montagni, L’opera completa di Watteau (1968), under cat. 134. 

Ferré, Watteau (1972), 3: cat. P. 57.

 

REMARKS

When the painting was in the Dècle collection and even after it entered the museum, it was attributed to Claude Gillot. Marcel recognized Watteau’s authorship of the composition, but trying to explain away its poor quality, he called it a première pensée for the painting. In 1968, the museum still attributed the picture to Watteau. The Dijon painting has since been demoted to the work of a copyist, one who compressed and extended Watteau's composition into a horizontal rectangle.

 

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 4)

Entered February 2020

Accord parfait copy 4

 

Hartford, Connecticut, Wadsworth Atheneum, inv. 47.4

Oil on oak panel

26.1 x 20.9 cm

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

The Country Dance

 

PROVENANCE

Paris, collection of M. Bondon père. His sale, Paris, June 7-8, 1831, lot 68: “DU MÊME [WATTEAU] . . . Sur le devant d’un bosquet, deux jeunes amans se livrent au plaisir de la danse, auquel les invite le son joyeux d’une vielle dont joue un personnage de la scène: plus loin, au fond d’une avenue, un autre couple compète cette jolie composition, une des mieux traitées de l’auteur. B. h. 8 p., l.8. p.” According to an annotated copy of the sale catalogue in the Frick Art Reference Library, the painting sold for 170 francs.

Paris, collection of M. Berthault (solicitor). His sale, Paris, November 23-24,1840, lot 88: “WATEAU . . . Sur le devant d’un bosquet, deux jeunes amans se livrent au plaisir de la danse, auquel les invite le son joyeux d’une vielle dont joue un personnage de la scène; plus loin, au fond d’une avenue, un autre couple complète cette jolie composition une des mieux traitées de l’auteur.” Sold for 251 francs. 

Paris, collection of Madame Louis Burat (wife of Louis, d. 1937); sold in 1929 to Wildenstein and Co.  

New York, with Wildenstein and Co.; sold to Ernst Rosenfeld.

New York, collection of Ernst Rosenfeld. His sale, New York, Parke-Bernet, January 4, 1947, lot 79: “JEAN ANTOINE WATTEAU . . . LA DANSE PAYSANNE. A dance performed by a maiden in white gown and blue jacket with straw hat perched on the side of her tilted head, and a gallant in buff and scarlet costume seen facing away from the observer. Wooded background, with three figures grouped at the right. Panel: 9½ x 7¾ inches

Collection Vouge, Paris, 1784 / Collection Berthault, Paris, 1840 / Collection Burat, Paris  / From Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York / Engraved by Audran [See illustration]” Sold for $14,000 to André Weil for the Wadsworth Atheneum.

 

EXHIBITIONS

Hartford, Atheneum, Retrospect: Twenty-One Years of Museum Collecting (1949), cat. 12.

Sarasota, Ringling Museum, The Artful Rococo (1953), cat. 13.

Hartford, Framing Art—Frames in the Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum  (1982), cat. 6.

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adhémar, Watteau (1950), under cat. 17 (as “Kastford”).

Macchia and Montagni, L’opera complete di Watteau (1968), under cat. 134.

Ferré, Watteau (1972), cat. P 56.

Zafran, Masters of French Painting (2012), 65.


 

REMARKS

Despite the hopes that this painting was actually by Watteau—hopes entertained throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, until well after it entered the Wadsworth Atheneum—critics should have been more cautious. Although it was executed in the same sense as the original, the handling of paint is too broad, and the grass and background foliage are barely indicated. The figures lack the poignancy of Watteau’s characters. Not least, it is only a reduced copy, omitting two of the side figures, the sleeping dog, and the large, striking limbs of the tree. Does this indicate that the copy was made after Watteau’s panel had been cut down? Just those subsidiary elements are missing in the reduced, circular format. This would indicate that the Hartford painting was executed no earlier than 1780-85; indeed, the woman’s face has a slightly Fragonardesque air.

When the painting was sold in 1947, it was claimed that it had been in the Vouge sale of 1784 (our copy 11). Yet had the Hartford painting been executed by then? For that and other reasons, especially its dimensions, it seems unlikely that the Hartford copy was in the Vouge collection.

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 5)

Entered February 2020

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Whereabouts unknown

Oil on canvas

21.5 x 19.8 cm

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Scena galante

 

PROVENANCE

Vienna, sale, C. J. Wawra, April 20, 1921, lot 27: Atelier des Nikolas Lancret.

Milan, sale, Sotheby’s, June 8, 1994, lot 5: Follower of Nicolas Lancret, SCENA GALANTE / Oil on canvas  est. 12,000,000-18,000,000 Lira.  Sold for 16,000,000 Lira ($9,962).

 

REMARKS

This picture imitates the direction of Watteau’s composition but it is unlikely that it was copied from that source. Watteau’s vertical format has been changed to a horizontal one, achieved by widening the space between the principal figures at the right and the couple at the left; moreover, this couple has been enlarged and given greater prominence. Likewise, the trees have been changed and except for the idea of one major diagonal tree trunk, the trees in the Wawra painting are wholly different. The pine trees behind the dancing woman not only are not present in Watteau’s painting but may indicate that the copyist was a Northern or Germanic artist. Indeed, the picture does not appear to be French, and certainly is not by Lancret or any of his followers.


         

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 6)

Entered February 2020

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Whereabouts unknown

Materials unknown

Measurements unknown

 

PROVENANCE

Russia, collection of Voronstov-Pachkow.

Paris, collection of Mme. Trouard-Ricolle.

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adhémar, Watteau (1950), under cat. 117.

Macchia and Montagni, L’opera completa di Watteau (1968), cat. 134. 

 

REMARKS

Except for Adhémar’s reference to it, nothing is known about this copy of Danse paysanne. According to a note in the catalogue cards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for inv. no. 60.71.20, a copy of Watteau’s composition that was in the Antenor Patino collection (our copy 13) may have been the one from the Voronstov-Pachkow and Trouard-Ricolle collections. However, none of this is substantiated.

 

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 7)

Entered February 2020

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Chambéry, unidentified chateau

Materials unknown

Measurements unknown

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adhémar, Watteau (1950), under cat. 117.

Macchia and Montagni, L’opera completa di Watteau (1968), under cat. 134.

 

 

REMARKS

Adhémar claimed that Marcel wrote of an overdoor in a chateau near Chambérty that contained a copy of La Danse paysanne. However, no such reference can be found in Marcel’s 1903 article in the Gazette des beaux-arts.

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 8)

Entered February 2020

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Whereabouts unknown

Materials unknown

Measurements unknown

 

PROVENANCE

Paris, collection of M. H. D. His sale, Paris,  January 30, 1845, lot 5:  “WATTEAU ANTOINE) . . . . Divertissement champêtre. Dans un  parc, à l’ombre des arbres et au son de la vielle, deux amants en costumes simples et gallants se livrent au plaisir de la danse, tandis que d’autres causent intimement à l’écart.”

 

REMARKS

As no measurements were given for this picture, it is not possible to match it with any of the copies known today. Although the description does fit La Danse paysanne, the association is only hypothetical. The painting could not have been Watteau’s autograph work since that picture was always paired with its pendant, but it could have been, for example, the painting now in the Wadsworth Atheneum, which had appeared on the French auction market in 1831 and 1840.

 

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 9)

Entered February 2020

Accord parfait copy 9

 

Whereabouts unknown

Materials unknown

Measurements unknown
           

 

PROVENANCE

Paris, collection of Victor Alvin-Beaumont  (b. 1862; artist, dealer, critic).

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Adhémar, Watteau (1950), under cat. 117.

Macchia and Montagni, L’opera completa di Watteau  (1968), under cat 134.

 

REMARKS

Although Adhémar credited Alvin-Beaumont with having owned a copy of La Danse paysanne, there seems to be no photograph, no description of the work, no measurements—nothing that would allow us to identify it. It may well have been one of the paintings discussed above.

           

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 10)

Entered February 2020

Accord parfait copy 10

 

Whereabouts unknown

Oil on canvas

124.5 x 142.2 cm

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Three Gentlemen and a Lady in the Forest

 

PROVENANCE

New York, with Central Picture Galleries; sold to French and Co. on February 27, 1952.
           
New York, French and Co.; sold to Leon Medina on January 31, 1961.

 

REMARKS

As the direction of the painting indicates, it was based on Audran’s engraving. The copyist was not faithful to his model: he changed the position of the woman’s arm, and her partner is not even dancing. Likewise, the inclusion of a dramatic waterfall at the right and both the omission of the sleeping dog and the secondary pair of figures in the background are further indications of the liberties that this copyist took.

The oval format of the composition is also worthy of note. Does this indicate that there was an awareness of the painting having been cut down to a circular format in the late eighteenth century or is it just fortuitous?

 

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 11)

Entered February 2020

Accord parfait copy 11

 

Whereabouts unknown

Oil on panel

18.7 x 21.6 cm

 

PROVENANCE

Paris, collection of Mathieu François Joseph de Vouge (painting dealer). His sale, Paris, March 15ff, 1784, lot 120: “PAR LE MÊME [ANTOINE WATTEAU.] Un jardin, dans lequel on compte cinq figures d’hommes & de femmes, dont un joue de la vielle. Ce tableau est aussi vigoureux de couleur que le precedent. Hauteur 11 pouces sur 8. B.” Sold for 50 livres to the abbé Crillon.

 

REMARKS

When the copy of La Danse paysanne now in Hartford (our copy 4) was sold in 1947, it’s provenance included having been in the de Vouge sale in 1784. However, the de Vouge painting had different measurements (26.1 x 20.9 cm) and was vertically oriented, making the correspondence unlikely.

 

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 12)

Entered March 2020

Accord parfait copy 12

 

Whereabouts unknown

Oil on canvas

47 x 35 cm

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

An Outdoor Scene with Elegant Figures Dancing

 

PROVENANCE

London, collection of Lady Greg. Her and others' sale, London, Sotheby’s, May 11, 1960, lot 174: “WATTEAU . . . TWO FETES CHAMPETRES, a pair   17¾ in  by 13¼I (2).”  Sold for  £300 to H. Hart. 

Collection of Alice Mary and Reginald Toms (b. 1892). Their sale, London, Sotheby’s, June 9, 1995, lot 272: “After Antoine Watteau / LA CASCADE; and LA DANSE PAYSANNE / A pair, both oil on canvas / 47 by 35cm; 18½ by 13 1/4 in each / Copies in reverse, after originals in private collections in Paris and Zurich. Provenance:  Lady Grey [sic], sold 11th May 1960, lot 174 £300 to Hart   £3000-4,000.” Sold for £320 the pair.

Sale, London, Sotheby’s, October 28, 2010, lot 159: “After Jean Antoine Watteau / AN OUTDOOR SCENE WITH AN ELEGANT COUPLE BY A FOUNTAIN / AN OUTDOOR SCENE WITH ELEGANT FIGURES DANCING / a pair, both oil on canvas / each 47 by 35 cm. 18½ by 13¼ in. Both compositions are based on engravings after the original paintings. Although conceived as a pair they have since been split and the former was last recorded in a private collection in Paris and the latter was in the Fleischmann collection, Zurich (see E.C. Montagni. L’Opera Completa di Watteau, Milan 1968, pp. 108-9, nos. 133-4}. £5.000-7.000  €6.100 -8.600    US$7,800-10,800.”  Sold for £5,000.

 

REMARKS

As has been noted, the reversed direction of the composition establishes that it was based on Audran’s engraving.

 

 

 

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La Danse paysanne (copy 13)

Entered March 2020

Accord parfait copy 13

 

Whereabouts unknown

Oil on canvas (?)

Measurements unknown

 

           
ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Escena campestre

Landliche Szene

Rural Scene

Scena campestre

Scène champêtre

 

PROVENANCE

Paris, collection of Antenor Patino (1896-1982; heir to a tin fortune)

 

REMARKS

This copy after Watteau’s La Danse paysanne is known through  its appearance on an Italian art calendar, “La Musica nella pitttura,” on file in the Witt Library. The picture was attributed to Jean Baptiste Pater, and not linked to Watteau or La Danse paysanne.

According to a note in the catalogue cards for inv. no. 60.71.20, their copy of La Danse paysanne, the Antenon Pantino painting may have been the one in the Voronstov-Pashkow and Trouard-Ricolle collections (our copy 6). However, this is not substantiated.

 

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