About This Artwork

Jean Antoine Watteau
French, 1684-1721

Italian Comedians, 1719/20

Red, black, and white chalks, with stumping, on cream laid paper
261 x 403 mm

Margaret Day Blake Collection, 1954.1

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

London, South Kensington Museum, "Twenty-Six Drawing by Watteau," 1878, cat. 3.

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, "French Drawings from American Collections," 1958-1959, cat. 87; traveled to Rotterdam, Museum Boymans; and Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie.

New York, Wildenstein and Company, "Master Drawings from The Art Institute of Chicago," October 17-November 30, 1963, n.p., cat. 42, pl. XVII, as "Four Studies of Italian Actors."

The Art Institute of Chicago, "A Quarter Century of Collecting: Drawings Given to The Art Institute of Chicago 1944-1970 by Margaret Day Blake," April 28-June 7, 1970, n.p., cat. 14 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, "Selected Works of 18th Century French Art in the Collections of The Art Institute of Chicago," January 24-March 28, 1976, pp. 42-43, cat. 29 (ill.).

Paris, Musée du Louvre, "Dessins français de l’Art Institute de Chicago de Watteau à Picasso," October 15, 1976-January 17, 1977, n.p., cat. 2 (ill.).

Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut, "Französische Zeichnungen aus dem Art Institute of Chicago," February 10-April 10, 1977, pp. 14-15, cat. 2 (ill.).

Washington, D.C., The National Gallery of Art, "Watteau," 1984-1985, cat. 107.

The Art Institute of Chicago, November 1993-January 1994.

New York, The Phillips Collection, "Watteau and His World: French Drawing from 1700-1750," the Frick Collection, New York, N.Y., October 19, 1999-January 9, 2000, and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, February 11-May 8, 2000, cat. 31. (ill.).

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Watteau, Music, and Theater,” 9/22/09–11/29/09, p. 86 and 87, cat. #42, cat. by Katherine Baetjer et al

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Watteau, Music, and Theater,” September 22–November 29, 2009, p. 87 and 86, cat. # 32, cat. by Georgia J. Cowart et. al.

Publication History

Edmond de Goncourt, Catalogue Raisonné de l'Oeuvre Peint, Dessiné et Gravé d'Antoine Watteau (Paris, 1875), nos. 659 and 715.

Carl Schniewind, "Mrs. Tiffany Blake, Patron of the Arts," The Art Institute of Chicago Quarterly, 158 (September 15, 1954), pp. 42-44 (ill.).

Karl Theodor Parker and Jacques Mathey, Antoine Watteau, Catalogue Complet de son Oeuvre Dessiné (Paris, 1957), no. 674 (ill.).

Jacques Mathey, Antoine Watteau (Paris, 1959), p. 37.

Jacques Mathey, "Drawing by Watteau and Gillot," The Burlington Magazine (August 1960), p. 358 (ill.).

Ira Moskowitz, Great Drawings of all Time (New York, 1962), no. 692 (ill.).

Alfred Frankfurter, "Il Bon Disegno from Chicago," Art News, 62 (November 1963), p. 31 (ill.).

Hugh Edwards, "Two Drawings by Antoine Watteau," Museum Studies, 1 (1966), p. 9.

"Recent Acquisition," Apollo, 62 (September 1970), p. 233 (ill.).

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (London, 1970), p. 146 (ill.).

Martin Eidelberg, "Watteau Paintings in England in the Early Eighteenth Century," The Burlington Magazine (September 1975), p. 579.

Suzanne McCullagh, "A Study for 'La Fête d'Amour' by Antoine Watteau," Bulletin of The Art Institute of Chicago, 70 (January-February 1976), p. 16.

Harold Joachim, French Drawings and Sketchbooks of the Eighteenth Century (Chicago, 1977), no. 2G6.

Marianne Roland-Michel, Watteau (Paris, 1984), p. 78 (ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, Degas in The Art Institute of Chicago, exh. cat. (Chicago, 1984), p. 49, fig. 17-1.

Margaret Morgan Grasselli, The Watteau Society Bulletin, 2 (1985), p. 44.

Margaret Morgan Grasselli, "Watteau's Use of the Trois-Crayon Technique," Drawings Defined (New York, 1987), p. 191 (ill.).

Robert Tomlinson, "Fête Galante et/ou Foraine? Watteau et le Théâtre," Antoine Watteau (Paris, 1987), p. 211.

Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat, Antoine Watteau, 1684-1721: Catalogue Raisonné des Dessins (Milan, 1996), no. 643 (ill.).

Mary Sheriff, The Cambridge Companion to Watteau (Cambridge, 2002).

Suzanne Folds McCullagh, “‘A Lasting Monument’: The Regenstein Collection at The Art Institute of Chicago,” The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, 26:1 (2000), pp. 7, 34-35, no. 10, fig. 14.

Pierre Rosenberg, "Watteau: The Drawings", (Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2011), p. 25, fig. 9.

Ownership History

Andrew James (died before 1857); by descent to his daughter, Sarah Ann James, London; sold, Christie's, London, June 22-23, 1891, lot 341, to Bourgeois [according to Rosenberg and Prat 1996]. Camille Groult (died 1908); by descent to his son, Jean Groult (died 1951); by descent to his son, Pierre Bordeaux-Groult [according to Rosenberg and Prat 1996]. Sold by Wildenstein and Company, New York, to the Art Institute, 1954.

Interpretive Resources

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