The Golden Age

Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 541

Pater was the only official student of Antoine Watteau (1684–1721), who pioneered subjects of overgrown gardens populated by well-dressed men and women engaged in amorous pursuits. In this exceptionally well-preserved painting, Pater uses Watteau’s painting technique, figural poses, and overall mood, but gives the subject a twist by depicting children at play: note the hobbyhorse and pinwheel. Ange Laurent de La Live de Jully (1725–1779), one of the most important eighteenth-century collectors of contemporary French art, once owned this painting and valued it highly enough to make his own etching after it.

The Golden Age, Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater (French, Valenciennes 1695–1736 Paris), Oil on wood

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