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X. Le Concert champêtre

Entered January 2019

X. Concert champetre

 

Whereabouts unknown

Oil on canvas

76.5 x 63.5 cm

  

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Concert dans un parc

 

PROVENANCE

Paris, sale, Galerie Charpentier, June 26-27, 1951, lot 10: “MERCIER (Attribué à Philippe) Pendant du suivant  — LE CONCERT CHAMPÊTRE / Dans un parc, sur une terasse, une jeune femme en robe blanche, assise auprès d’un piédestal, feuillette une partition de musique. A ses côtés, un violoniste en habit brun et une joueuse de basse en jupe bleue. A ses pieds, deux fillettes  jouent avec un chien. Au centre, en habit rose, un mezzetin accorde son luth. A droite, un tambourin devant une statue de pierre. Toile / Cadre en bois sculpté  / Haut., 0m 63; Larg., 0m75.“

Monaco, Sotheby’s, June 26, 1983, lot 484: “FRANÇOIS OCTAVIEN . . . CONCERT DANS UN PARC / 76,5 63,5 cm./ La partie centrale de la composition derive du tableau d’Antoine Watteau «Les Charmes de la vie» de la Wallace Collection.”

 

 

REMARKS

 

a

Anonymous artist, Le Concert champêtre.

b

Antoine Watteau, Le Concert, oil on canvas, 66 x 91 cm. Potsdam, Schloss Sanssouci.

Although the painting has been attributed to Philippe Mercier and François Octavien, it has nothing to do with either of these Watteau “satellites.” It is essentially just an anonymous copy after Watteau’s Le Concert in Potsdam with minor changes. While it also resembles Les Charmes de la vie in the Wallace Collection, as was noted in the 1983 sale, the seated woman looking at a musical score and the violinist next to her are present only in the Potsdam painting and not in the one in the Walllace Collection.

Concert

Jean-Baptiste Pater, Fête galante, oil on canvas, 54 x 89 cm. Munich, Alte Pinakothek.

 

A telling deviation from Watteau’s composition is the addition of a seated woman in the foreground at the left side. Both this type of inclined pose and her function as a repoussoir device in the corner of the composition are derived from any number of paintings by Jean-Baptiste Pater such as a fête galante in the Munich Alte Pinakothek. In Pater’s paintings such triangular wedges in one corner are often balance by an equal but opposite wedge in the opposite corner. In Le Concert champêtre, the sphinx and small still life of a tambourine and bag pipe serve that that function. Watteau did not structure his paintings this way.

coq

Anonymous artist after Jean-Baptiste Pater, Military Encampment, oil on canvas, 61 x 75 cm. Whereabouts unknown.

 

Equally telling, when this fête galante was sold in 1951, it had as its pendant a painting of comparable dimensions, a military scene also wrongly attributed to Philippe Mercier. The pendant is a copy after a Pater composition known through several copies and variants. An example from Pater’s hand sold in Paris, Hôtel Drouot, May 4, 2012, lot 21.