X. Fête Galante
Entered August 2018
Oil on canvas (unverified)
London, sale, Christie’s, December 13, 1979, lot 44: “A GREEN-PAINTED AND GILDED PIER-GLASS with rectangular plate in broad paneled frame carved with foliage and scrolls and inset with a painting in the style of Watteau with figures in a landscape—74in. x 49½in. (18cm. x 126cm.), third quarter, 18th Century / Plate 10.”
Ingersoll-Smouse, Pater (1928), cat. 228-29.
This picture and a mirror were set inside boiserie that was supposedly created c. 1750-75. One should be cautious, however, since such decorative pier glasses were often created a century later than believed, and the same could be applied to the painting.
The painting should not be described as “style of Watteau,” except in the broadest sense, since it copies a composition by Jean-Baptiste Pater known through two versions, one now in the Wallace Collection, London, and the second in Schloss Sans Souci, Potsdam. Since this painting is the reverse of both canvases, it must have been based on Filloeul’s engraving after Pater. It copies almost all the characters and sculptural elements found in Pater’s composition, but renders the landscape more freely. Although little can be told from the poor reproduction, it seems improbable that this was executed by anyone directly associated with Pater.