Red and black chalk counterproof;
bears numbering in red chalk: 285
Camille Groult, Paris,
by descent to his son, Jean Groult,
by descent to his son, Pierre Bordeaux-Groult;
A. Stoll, mountmaker (L.2786c)
K.T. Parker and J. Mathey, Antoine Watteau, catalogue complet de son oeuvre dessiné, Paris 1957, vol. II, p. 321; p. 329, no. 683; reproduced fig. 683;
M. Eidelberg, Watteau's Drawings, Their Use and Significance, New York and London 1977, p. 34, under note 62;
C.T. Eisler, Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools, excluding Italian, London 1977, p. 301, under no. K1344; reproduced text fig. 97;
Watteau, exhib. cat., Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, et al., 1984-85, p. 443, under Related Drawings for no. P71, reproduced fig. 17;
M.M. Grasselli, The Drawings of Antoine Watteau: Stylistic Development and Problems of Chronology, unpublished PhD dissertation, Harvard University, 1987, vol. II, p. 384 and notes 14, 15; p. 385; p. 543, no. 292; reproduced vol. III, fig. 474;
From Pisanello to Cézanne - Master Drawings from the Museum Boymans - van Beuningen, Rotterdam, exhib. cat., New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, et al., 1990-91, p. 227, under no. 84;
P. Rosenberg and L.-A. Prat, Antoine Watteau, catalogue raisonné des dessins, Milan 1996, vol. II, p. 1064, no. 624, reproduced p. 1065;
K. Baetjer, Watteau, Music and Theater, exhib. cat., New York, Metropolitan Museum, p. 48, under References to no. 13
This is the counterproof of a lost drawing used for the figure of the bearded doctor who appears at the right, facing the other direction, in Watteau's painting Les Comédiens italiens (fig.1), which can be dated to his London stay in 1719-20. The delicate red outlines of the preliminary underdrawing, the intense red chalk on the hands and nose, and the strong black chalk in the hat are unusual for a counterproof.
The painting was done for Dr. Mead, the famous physician whom Watteau travelled to London to consult and who was a distinguished collector. A number of drawings relating to the painting are known: studies for individual figures and for small details as well as, unusually for Watteau, several for the composition as a whole.1 The painting was engraved, in reverse, for the Recueil Jullienne.
1. Watteau, exhib. cat., op. cit., pp. 440-43, figs. 3-18
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