Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

close-button
Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Country Dance

Artist:
Copy after Antoine Watteau (French, late 18th century)
Medium:
Oil on wood
Dimensions:
Diameter 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Bequest of Lillian S. Timken, 1959
Accession Number:
60.71.20
Not on view
The compositions are recorded among paintings by Watteau of which there are prints: La Danse paysanne, or the Country Dance, by Benoît II Audran (1698–1772) and La Cascade by Gérard Jean-Baptiste Scotin (1698–1733), both coming from the collection of "Mr. de Monmerqué." Originally they were rectangular. The engravings show them reversed. Each is described as "Gravé d’Apres le Tableau original peint par Watteau, de mesme grandeur." La Danse paysanne is presumably a painting on panel (43.2 x 32.4 cm) belonging to the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. The Cascade, also on panel, was last seen at public auction in Zurich more than thirty years ago (Galerie Koller, May 16–17, 1980, no. 5182, 43 x 32.5 cm, colorpl. 14). In each case, by about 1785 a roundel of approximately the same size as the Museum’s paintings had been cut from the larger surface and then later provided with a replacement surround, presumably based on the relevant print. This would suggest that the Museum’s copies, for this is what we believe them to be, must date no earlier than the end of the eighteenth century.

[Katharine Baetjer 2016]
John Joshua Proby, 1st Earl of Carysfort, Elton Hall, Peterborough, and London (until d. 1828; posthumous sale, Christie's, London, June 14, 1828, no. 29, as "A pair, small, a Masquerade and Musical conversation," for £63); Reverend John Lucy, Hampton Lucy, Warwick (until d. 1874; posthumous sale, Christie's, London, May 1, 1875, no. 89, "Musical Conversation," 8 in. circle, with no. 88, "Dance Champêtre," for £535.10 to Wertheimer); [Wertheimer, London, from 1875]; Sir Edward Henry Scott, 5th Baronet, Westbury Manor, Brackley, and London (until d. 1883); Sir Samuel Edward Scott, 6th Baronet (1883–1924; his sale, Christie's, London, July 4, 1924, no. 150, to Colnaghi); [Colnaghi, London, 1924–26]; William R. Timken, New York (1926–49); Lillian S. Timken, New York (1949–59)
"Ninetieth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year 1959–1960." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 19 (October 1960), p. 36, ill., as by Watteau.

Jean Ferré. Watteau. Madrid, [1972], vol. 1, in chronology, under 1875; vol. 2, p. 760, fig. 508, no. P58; vol. 3, p. 1072, no. P 58; vol. 4, pp. 1106, 1201, as a pastiche, possibly the picture of this title in the Lucy sale, London, 1875.

Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell in French Art of the Eighteenth Century at The Huntington. Ed. Shelley M. Bennett and Carolyn Sargentson. [San Marino, Calif.], 2008, pp. 388–89 n. 23, dates the Huntington panel about 1711; refers to ours as copies or variants of the Huntington picture and "The Fountain," sold in 1980.



Conservator George Bisacca points out several physical differences: The Cascade is on a thinner piece of wood, its grain runs diagonally, not vertically, and a head of a putto is visible in x-radiograph. The grain on The Country Dance runs horizontally and no underlying composition is visible in x-radiograph.

The following have expressed the view that the paintings are not by Watteau: Pierre Rosenberg, Donald Posner, Edgar Munhall, Martin Eidelberg, Marianne Roland-Michel, Margaret Morgan Grasselli, and Alan Wintermute.
Related Objects

The Cascade

Artist: Copy after Antoine Watteau (French, late 18th century) Medium: Oil on wood Accession: 60.71.21 On view in:Not on view

Standing Woman Holding a Spindle, and Head of a Woman in Profile to Right

Artist: Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne) Date: early 18th century Medium: Two shades of red chalk Accession: 23.280.5 On view in:Not on view

Reclining Nude Figure (recto); unidentifiable sketches (verso)

Artist: Attributed to Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne) Date: n.d. Medium: Red, black, and white chalks Accession: 1975.131.130 On view in:Not on view

Seated Woman Holding a Fan

Artist: Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne) Date: ca.1717 Medium: Red, black, and white chalk Accession: 43.163.23 On view in:Not on view

Landscape with a Country House

Artist: Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne) Date: ca. 1714 Medium: Red chalk. A strip of paper 1.2 cm. in height has been added at upper margin. Accession: 80.3.524 On view in:Not on view