Troops on the March

Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 629

A pupil of Antoine Watteau, Pater was born to the north at Valenciennes, an area that was restored to France in 1678 after having belonged to the Spanish Netherlands. The wars of Louis XIV had ravished the northern territories and Pater would have seen the aftermath. As young men, he and Watteau both painted military subjects partly inspired by contemporary events and also aware of depictions by earlier, Flemish painters such as David Teniers the Younger. The marchers, closely observed, wear contemporary dress and carry weapons and ammunition bags. Camp followers with babies, pots and pans, and dogs walk and ride beside them.

Troops on the March, Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater (French, Valenciennes 1695–1736 Paris), Oil on canvas

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