X. Das Duett
Entered July 2018
Oil on panel
36 x 43 cm
Cologne, sale, Heberle, May 18, 1912, cat. 139: “ANTOINE WATTEAU (Schule) . . . Das Duett – Rast im Parke. Gruppe von je zwei vornhemen Paaren in reichen Park landschaffte. Gegenstucke, Holz. Höhe 36, Breite 43 cm.”
Only Das Duett, one of the two pendants in the 1912 sale, was photographed and reproduced, and then only in a small format and somewhat fuzzily. It shows a seated man and woman singing from a songbook (the duet named in the title), and a second couple stopping to listen or talk.
While the quality of the image is quite poor, it appears that this is a nineteenth century fabrication cleverly conceived in an eighteenth-cebtury format. The costumes worn by the standing couple are wholly in the style of the era of Rubens and Van Dyck. While Watteau and his contemporaries often included elements of seventeenth-century fashion, they did not recreate them so fully and convincingly as is the case here. This would appear to indicate that this painting and its pendant, Rast im Parke, are Romantic, so-called troubadour paintings from the nineteenth century.