L’Escorte d’équipages (copy 1)
Entered October 2021
Oil on panel
29 x 38 cm
Bivouac de militaires au repos
A Baggage Train Encamped
Paris, collection of Eugène Carrière (1849-1906; painter). Supposedly by descent to his widow. The painting does not figure in the sale of the contents of the Carrière studio on February 20, 1920.
Paris, with S. Guiraud (art dealer).
London, sale, Sotheby’s, March 12, 1947, lot 124: “The Property of a Lady . . . . A. WATTEAU. L’Escorte d’Equipages: Soldiers and women resting near a fire: evening, panel 11½ in. by 15in. *** From the Eugène Carrière Collection. Reproduced in Gabriel Séailles, “Watteau” (les Grands Artistes), plate facing p. 32, described pp. 62-3, and mentioned in Louis Gillet, “Watteau”, pp. 52-3. Engraved by Cars.” Sold to Roland (dealer) for £920.
London, with Roland, Browse & Delbanco, 19 Cork Street. A firm headed by Henry Roland [Rosenbaum], Lillian Browse, and Gustave Delblanco. Their ownership is cited in a letter from Andrew d’Antal to Hélène Adhémar, September 24, 1953, in the files of the Service de documentation, Département des peintures, Musée du Louvre.
London, sale, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, July 5, 1984, lot 366: “Attributed to JEAN-ANTOINE WATTEAU . . . A BAGGAGE TRAIN ENCAMPED: L’ESCORTE DES EQUIPAGES / on panel / 11½in by 15in 29cm by 38cm / Engraved by Laurent Cars (the print is reproduced in E. Dacier & A. Vuaflart, Jean de Jullienne et les graveurs de Watteau, 1922-23, pl. 125) .
Provenance: In the collection of the painter Eugène Carrière, Paris (died 1906); Mme. Carrière, Paris, in 1912; S. Guiraud; Anonymous sale, London (Sotheby), 19th March 1947, lot 124. Literature: G. Seailles, Watteau, 1912, pp. 62-63, illus. opposite p. 32; L. Gillet, Watteau. Un grand maître du XVIIIe siècle, 1921. pp. 52-53; E. H. Zimmerman, Watteau (Klassiker der Kunst), 1912, illus. p. 175 and French ed., 1912, p. 7; L. Réau, ‘Watteau’, in L. Dimier, Les peintres français du XVIIIe, vol. I, 1928, pp. 33-34, note to no. 49; H. Adhémar, Watteau, 1950, note to no. 39, as a copy after the print. £4,000-6,000.” Sold for £1,210.
Zimmerman, Watteau (1912), no. 7.
Séailles, Watteau (1901), 33, 62.
Gillet, La Peinture (1913), 46.
Pilon, Watteau et son école (1912), 84.
Dacier, Vuaflart, and Hérold, Jean de Jullienne et les graveurs (1921-29), 1: 262; 3: under cat. 125.
Reau, “Watteau” (1928), under cat. 49.
Barker, Watteau (1939), 48.
Adhémar, Watteau (1950), under cat. 39.
Macchia and Montagni, L’opera completa di Watteau (1968), under cat. 57.
The painting’s whereabouts in the early nineteenth century have not been charted, but after it came to light with Carrière and Guiraud, it was frequently cited. Some Watteau scholars, especially in the late nineteenth century, believed that the version then in the Carrière collection was the original. On the other hand, most considered it to be a copy, and this was still the dominant position in the early twentieth century. Zimmerman, Dacier and Vuaflart, Réau, Adhémar—they all treated the painting as a copy, emphasizing that it was based on the engraving by Laurent Cars. Yet when it came up at auction in 1947, it was presented as “attributed to,” as though Watteau might have painted it. The reappearance in 2009 of the autograph version has dashed any lingering hopes that this picture could be by Watteau himself. The painting has not been seen for the last three-quarters of a century.
Escorte d’équipages (copy 2)
Entered October 2021
Oil on canvas
38 x 46 cm
Paris, sale, Hôtel Drouot (Thierry de Maigret), December 4, 2013, lot 24: “Ecole FRANCAISE du XIXeme siècle, d’après Antoine WATTEAU / Escorte d’equipages / Toile Restaurations / 38 x 46 cm. Sans cadre 600/800 € / Voir la reproduction / Reprise avec des variantes de la gravure de Laurent Cars d’après l’oeuvre dont on ne connait pas l’emplacement (voir E. Camesasca, Tout l’oeuvre peint de Watteau, Paris,1970. no 57, reproduit).“
Paris, sale, Hôtel Drouot (Fraysse), April 12, 2018, lot 68: “Ecole française du XIXe siècle, d’après Antoine WATTEAU / Escorte d’équipages / Huile sur toile (accidents). 38 x 46 cm / 800/1200€.”
Paris, sale, Hôtel Drouot (Fraysse), November 27, 2019, lot 68: “Ecole française du XIXe siècle, d’après Antoine WATTEAU / Escorte d’équipages / Huile sur toile (accidents). 38 x 46 cm. 400/600 €.“
Paris, sale, Hôtel Drouot (Fraysse), May 20, 2020, lot 50: “Ecole française du XIXe siècle, d’après Antoine WATTEAU / Escorte d’equipages / Huile sur toile (accidents). 38 x 46 cm / 200/300 €.”
This picture was based on Laurent Cars’ engraving. Nonetheless, despite its evidently damaged surface and the poor photograph, this painting seems to be of quality.
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