Fête champêtre (Pastoral Gathering)

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Jean Antoine Watteau
French, 1684–1721

Fête champêtre (Pastoral Gathering), 1718/21

Oil on panel
48.6 x 64.5 cm (19 1/16 x 25 3/8 in.)
Max and Leola Epstein Collection, 1954.295

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Manchester, City Art Gallery, Art Treasures of the United Kingdom, 1857, no. 29, as Pater.

London, Bethnal Green Branch of the South Kensington Museum, Painting, Porcelain, Bronzes, Decorative Furniture, and Other Works of Art, Lent for Exhibition… by Sir Richard Wallace, Bart., M.P., 1872-75, no. 436, as Pater, Pleasure Seekers.

Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris (Petit Palais), Exposition du paysage française de Poussin á Corot, 1925, no. 149, as Pater.

Chicago, The University of Chicago, Renaissance Society, Max Epstein Memorial Exhibition, 1955, no. 13, as Pater.

Art Institute of Chicago, Selected Works of Eighteenth-Century French Art in the Collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1976, no. 4, as Imitator of Jean Antoine Watteau.

Art Institute of Chicago, New Light on Old Masters: French and British Paintings from 1600 to 1800 in The Art Institute of Chicago, 1996, no cat.

Publication History

P[ierre] Hédouin, “Watteau III: Catalogue de son oeuvre,” L’Artiste: Revue de Paris 4th ser., 5 (1845), p. 80, no. 137.

[Gustave Friedrich] Waagen, Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain…, London, 1857, p. 84.

Edmond de Goncourt, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, dessiné et gravé d’Antoine Watteau, Paris, 1875, p. 162.

André Joubin, “Un Catalogue de vente illustré par Jules Boilly,” Beaux-Arts: Revue d’information artistique 3 (1925), p. 336.

Louis Hourticq et. al., Le Paysage française de Poussin à Corot à l’exposition du Petit Palais (Mai-Juin 1925), Paris, 1926, p. 144, no. P249.

Florence Ingersoll-Smouse, Pater, Paris, 1928, p. 44, no. 81.

Hélène Adhémar, Watteau: Sa Vie-–son oeuvre, Paris, 1950, p. 241, no. 314. AIC 1961, pp. 350-51.

Frederick A. Sweet, “Great Chicago Collectors,” Apollo 84 (1966), p. 203, p. 205, fig. 39.

Ettore Camesaca and John Sunderland, The Complete Paintings of Watteau, New York, 1968, p. 128, no. 2°D.

John Ingamells, The Wallace Collection: Catalogue of Pictures, pt. 3, French before 1815, London, 1989, p. 388, no. 118.

Christopher Wright, The World’s Master Paintings from the Early Renaissance to the Present Day: A Comprehensive Listing of Works by 1,300 Painters and a Complete Guide to Their Locations Worldwide, New York, 1991, vol. 1, p. 454, vol. 2, pp. 62, 607.

L[arry] J. F[einberg] in Susan Wise and Malcolm Warner, French and British Paintings from 1600-1800 in The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 1996, pp. 159-69, ill.

Larry Feinberg and Frank Zuccari, “A Rediscovered ‘Fête champêtre’ by Watteau in the Art Institute of Chicago,” Burlington Magazine 139 (1997), pp. 236-47, figs. 2-3, 9-11, 13, 15, 19, 20-21, 23-24.

Ownership History

Probably Jean Baptiste Pierre Le Brun, Paris, by 1773; probably his sale, Pierre Rémy, Paris, December 20, 22 and 23, 1773, no. 177, as Watteau, “Vingt-six figures de pouces de proportions, occupées à chanter, à jouer & à se promener dans différens endroits d’un Parc très-orné d’arbres. La belle couleur rend ce Tableau un des plus capitaux qui soit connu de ce Maître” (Twenty-six figures, each five pouces in size, are engaged in singing, playing, and promenading in various areas of a park highly ornamented with trees. The beautiful coloring of the painting makes it one of the finest known by this master) [supported by Gabriel de Saint Aubin’s sketch in the margin of his sale catalogue; see Feinberg in Wise and Warner 1996, fig. 3]; probably Daniel Saint, Paris, by 1845; sold Hôtel des Ventes, Paris, May 4, 1846, no. 57, as Watteau, for Fr 4900, probably to Richard Seymour Conway, fourth marquess of Hertford [Goncourt 1875]. Richard Seymour Conway, fourth marquess of Hertford (d.1870), Paris [Waagen1857, pp. 79, 84]; by descent to Sir Richard Wallace, Bt. (d.1890); at his death to his widow, Lady Wallace (d. 1897); at her death to Sir John E. A. Murray Scott, Bt. (died1912); sold at Christie’s, London, June 27, 1913, no. 134 (ill.), as Pater, to Agnew, London, for 2415 gns. [annotated sales catalogue, Christie’s]; sold, as Pater, to Walter S. M. Burns, Esq. (d. 1930), North Myms Park, Hatfield, 1919 [letter of April 7, 1981 from William Joll, Agnew’s, in curatorial file]; sold Christie’s, London, June 20, 1930, no. 106 (ill.), as Lancret, to Frank T. Sabin, London, for 3045 gns. [annotated catalogue in Ryerson Library, Art Institute]; sold to Max and Leola Epstein, Chicago, 1934 [Art Institute registrar’s receipt]; given to the Art Institute, 1954.