L'Enlèvement d'Europe (copy 1)
Entered January 2022
Oil on canvas
38 x 48 cm
Poitiers, sale, Boissinot & Talliez, May 22, 2021: Ecole du XIXème siècle / Enlèvement d’Europe / Huile sur toile, dans une cadre en bois et stuc doré très richement mouluré à décor de palmes (accidents et manques). Cartel portant l’inscription ‘Ecole de Pater’ / 48 x 38 cm / Accidents au cadre / Estimation: 400-600 €.
At some point in this painting’s earlier history its owner may have been aware that the composition was derived from Watteau but, recognizing that the painting was inferior to what could be expected from the master’s hand, assigned it to his pupil, Jean-Baptiste Pater. Thus the cartel on the frame with Pater’s name. However, as its poor quality shows, the picture cannot be assigned to Watteau or any other member of his circle. It was undoubtedly copied from the Aveline engraving in that it follows the reversed direction of the print. Moreover, the copyist made certain changes to the original composition, focusing more closely on the figures, eliminating much of the forest at the left, lowering the sky, and eliminating the cattle and sparse trees at the right. Thus the composition is more compact but not more pleasing.
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