Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

The Rommelpot Player

Artist:
French (?) (eighteenth century)
Former Attribution:
Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne)
Date:
18th century
Medium:
Red chalk
Dimensions:
6 3/4 x 4 7/16 in. (17.1 x 11.2 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.764
Not on view
This drawing was probably executed in France at a time when the vogue for seventeenth-century Dutch painting inspired French artists to cultivate their own approach to subjects of everyday life. Rommelpot players appear in Dutch genre pictures as quirky companions to butchers at work or more frequently as entertainers in scenes of casual revelry. Made from a pig’s bladder, the rommelpot produced a loud squeal. More of a noisemaker than a musical instrument, it was mostly used by children; accordingly, this drawing, now cut down, once shared the sheet with a sketch of a little girl at right apparently dancing to the “tune” of the rommelpot.
Inscription: Annotated in brown ink at the lower left on the recto: 2116

Marking: Annotated on the verso in pencil (?): mettre dans le cadre; and (in a different hand): D2507 3HCO (a Colnaghi number)
Antoine Joseph Dezallier d'Argenville (Lugt 2951 at the lower left on the recto); Dezallier d'Argenville sale, Paris, 18 January 1779, possibly lot 2099 (as Jan Both) or 2124 (as Bartholomeus Breenbergh); [P. and D. Colnaghi and Co., London]. Acquired by Robert Lehman from Colnaghi in 1961.
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