X. Le Dénicheur de moineaux
Entered March 2020
Paris, collection of Mme. V. Crauford. Her sale, Paris, February 18-20, 1834, lot 12: “WATEAU . . . Un villageois offer a une jeune fille un nid d’oiseaux.”
Dacier, Vuaflart, and Hérold, Jean de Jullienne et les graveurs, under cat. 5.
Réau, “Watteau” (1928), under cat. 261.
London, Royal Academy, Landscape in French Art (1949), under cat. 101.
Adhémar, Watteau (1950), under cat. 86.
While it might be tempting to identify this work with Watteau’s arabesque of the same name, by 1834 Watteau’s picture was probably in Edinburgh in the collection of Hugh William Williams (d. 1829). His widow, Mrs. Hugh William Williams, donated the picture to the National Galleries of Scotland. Dacier and Vuaflart termed the Crauford painting “analogous” but, of course, we have no evidence regarding the painting’s appearance.
On the Paris market around the same time was another painting attributed to Watteau and showing the same subject. That picture appeared in an unnamed sale on February 19-20, 1835, and again in the May 28-29,1850 sale of the Auguste collection. The Crauford painting seems to have depicted just the young couple while the other picture had more figures.