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Bon voyage (copy 1)
Entered July 2016; revised March 2017

 

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Whereabouts unknown

Materials unknown

Measurements unknown

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

La Déclaration d’amour

 

PROVENANCE

Paris, collection of Casimir Périer (1777-1832; banker and president of the Chamber of Deputies); his sale, Paris, April 18-21, 1838, lot 62: “WATTEAU . . . La déclaration d’amour. Charmant épisode du beau tableau dit le voyage à Cythère; l’esprit et la finesse de la touche, le coloris brillant, font de ce précieux échantillon une des meilleurs productions du maître; avis aux amateurs qui savent combien il est difficile d’en rencontrer, surtout d’aussi bien conservés.”  Sold for 600 francs.

Paris, collection of Alfred Boucher (1850-1934; sculptor).

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dacier, Vuaflart, and Hérold, Jean de Jullienne et les graveurs (1921-29), cat. 35.

Réau, “Watteau” (1928), cat. 154.

Adhémar, Watteau (1950), under cat. 193.

Macchia and Montagni, L’opera completa di Watteau  (1968), cat. 177.

Ferré, Watteau (1972), cat. B46.

 

REMARKS

Dacier, Vuaflart, and Hérold, as well as Réau, thought that the version then in the Boucher collection was the original by Watteau, but Adhémar dismissed it as merely a replica. As always, her opinion was mimicked by Macchia and Montagni. There seems to be no available image of this painting. That, coupled with the lack of description and measurements, makes it impossible to determine whether it was the original from Watteau’s hand, unlikely as it may be, or a copy. Similarly, there is no way of knowing whether Alfred Boucher’s painting was the one that then entered the Bliss collection (our copy 3).

 

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Bon voyage (copy 2)
Entered July 2016; revised March 2017

 

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Whereabouts unknown

Oil on paper, mounted on canvas

Measurements unknown

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Pelerin courtisant une jeune dame

 

PROVENANCE

Paris, collection of Paul Boulet (grammarian). His sale, Paris, December 8-9, 1873, lot 21: “WATTEAU (ANTOINE) . . . Pelerin courtisant une jeune dame. Étude sur papier, pour son tableau de l’embarquement de Cythère.”

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dacier, Vuaflart, and Hérold, Jean de Jullienne et les graveurs (1921-29), under cat. 35.

 

REMARKS

The description of this painted image as a pilgrim paying court to a young woman, and as a supposed study for the Pèlerinage, brings to mind the pilgrim kneeling and speaking intimately to his partner at the far right of the painting. Its possible association with Bon voyage, then, is a logical progression. The other couples in the Louvre and Berlin Pèlerinages, those arising from the ground or walking away, do not relate as closely to the idea of courting.

Watteau Three Studies of a seated woman

Anonymous copyist after Watteau, Man Helping a Woman Rise, oil counterproof, 28.3 x 19.8 cm. Whereabouts unknown.

 

Dacier, Vuaflart, and Hérold thought that the Boulet study might be a sketch of one of the other couples, that of the pilgrim helping his female partner to rise, a work that appeared at several auctions around the time of the Boulet sale, although they do not specify which sales. They were probably referring to the oil counterproof that was sold from the collection of comte Adolphe-Narcisse Thibaudeau, April 20-25, 1857, lot 659; and then from the collection of Henri Coïc, February 5-7, 1872, lot 41. However, at these sales the couple was described as a man helping a woman rise, never as a man paying court to his lady.

What was the Boulet study? Was it a study for the painting as was claimed? Was it an oil counterproof of the kneeling man and his partner pulled from the Pèlerinage? Was it an anonymous copy after Bon voyage?


 

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Bon voyage (copy 3)
Entered July 2016; revised March 2017

 

copy3

Cambridge MA, Harvard University, Harvard Art Museums, Fogg Museum, inv. 1942.221

Oil on panel

21.3 x 25.1

 

PROVENANCE

Collection of Honorable Robert Woods Bliss (1875-1962; diplomat) and Mildred Barnes Bliss (1879-1968); purchased in France in 1927; donated to the Fogg Museum in 1942.

 

EXHIBITIONS

Stockholm, Nationalmuseum, unidentified exhibition, February 1-28, 1927.

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bowron, European Paintings before 1900 (1990), 133.

 

REMARKS

Judging from the direction of the composition, the Bliss painting was apparently based on the Crépy engraving of Bon voyage, rather than the Audran engraving as has been assumed. The painting is now classified as a nineteenth-century copy after Watteau.

 

 

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Bon voyage (copy 4)
Entered July 2016; revised March 2017

 

copy4

Whereabouts unknown

Oil on canvas

47 x 58.4 cm

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Ein galantes Paar vor der Einschiffung nach Kythera

 

PROVENANCE

Vienna, Dorotheum, sale, June 22, 2010, lot 149: “Philippe Mercier . . . zugeschrieben. Ein galantes Paar vor der Einschiffung nach Kythera. Öl auf Leinwand. 47 x 58,4 cm, gerahmt / € 5.000 - 7.000 / US$ 6.400 - 8.900.” Bought in.

 

REMARKS

The direction of the composition suggests that it was based on the Crépy engraving. Although this is a generally faithful copy of the figural elements, the rocks at the left and the pine trees in the landscape strike a jarring note. They are not to be found in French fêtes galantes and suggest, instead, that the copyist was North European. That the painting first appeared publicly in Vienna perhaps reinforces this idea.  The painting certainly has nothing to do with Philippe Mercier.

 

 

 

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Bon voyage (copy 5)
Entered July 2016; ; revised March 2017

 

copy5

 

Caen, Musée des beaux-arts, inv. M 416.

Oil on panel

11.4 x 85 cm

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Conversation

Conversation dans un parc

 

PROVENANCE

Caen, collection of Pierre Philippe Mancelle (baker). This is suggested by the notation on the back of the painting, “fatus panier” (speaking of bread). This may have been written jokingly by Mancel’s son, the next owner of the painting.

Caen, collection of Pierre Bernard Mancel (1798-1872; bookseller); inventory after death, no. 46; donated to the museum in 1872.

 

EXHIBITIONS

Paris, Musée de la Monnaie, Pèlerinage (1977), cat. 173.

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Decauville Lachènée, Catalogue des tableaux (1897), cat. 60.

Ménégoz, Catalogue des tableaux (1928), cat. 60.

Debaisieux, Caen, peintures français (2000), cat. 103.

 

REMARKS

While this painting could be interpreted as a copy of the couple in the foreground of the Louvre or Berlin versions of the Pèlerinage, the fact that it shows just this seated couple makes it likely that it was based on Bon voyage. Moreover, because of the direction of the figures, it seems likely that the copyist was working from the Audran engraving. The perky little brimmed hat worn by the woman, with its large feather cockade, suggests that this copy was not made until the end of the eighteenth century.

The inventory of the Mancel collection drawn up in 1872 after the collector’s death listed the panel as “attribué à Watteau” but, after being transferred to the museum, its attribution was upgraded to Watteau himself. However, most Watteau scholars did not accept this and, in fact, the painting did not appear in any of the twentieth-century literature on Watteau. Within the museum it was considered to be an autograph study by Watteau for the Pèlerinage, but when the panel appeared in the 1977 exhibition in Paris, it was cited, reasonably enough, as a French eighteenth-century copy after Watteau, and it was so listed in the 2000 catalogue of the Caen museum’s collection.

 

 

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Bon voyage (copy 6)
Entered July 2016

 

copy6

Whereabouts unknown

Oil on panel

26 x 20

 

ALTERNATIVE TITLES

Un Couple

 

PROVENANCE

Berlin, unidentified sale, 1911

 

 SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

Ferré, Watteau (1972), cat. P22.

 

REMARKS

Ferré’s summary description offers little more than the data indicated above. Although he associates the work with derivatives of the Louvre and Berlin Pèlerinages, he does not link it with Bon voyage. It is not clear whether the ascription to Dietrich is Ferré’s opinion or it appeared in the 1911 sale catalogue.

 

 

 

For Bon voyage, CLICK HERE