Fête Galante: La Barque de plaisir
(Jean Baptiste Pater)


This example is the larger of his two versions of the composition. While the idea is his own, we may observe here even more than usual Pater’s dedication to draftsmanship, and his debt to Watteau. Anyone of these figures could have come from one of his master’s paintings, similar carefully posed figures may be found in the work of Watteau and the subject is one which Watteau could easily have chosen. Even the little landscape and the village nestling in the distant valley could have been the subject of one of his master’s red chalk drawings. Yet, the painting is still distinctly the work of Pater and could not be confused with that of any other. Pater’s palette is peculiar to himself, and he is responding to the same northern influences that had inspired Watteau while reinterpreting them once again. This composition exists in a smaller variant, formerly in the Henri de Rothschild collection (Ingersoll-Smouse, no 70).

29 ½ x 36 ¾ ins. 75 x 93.4 cm.
Oil on canvas

J. W. Q. D.., Esq, of London, Sale, Paris, 25 Feb, 1869, no 55 (4000 francs) where acquired by the ancestors of M. ..A-F.; by descent in the family of A-F, Chateau de B…. 1869-1996


Florence Ingersoll-Smouse, Pater (Les Beaux Arts, Paris, 1928), p. 46, no. 98.

Where is It?
Acquired by a Collector
Historical Period
Rococo - 1720-1780
Fête champêtre
1999-Collectanea 1700-1800.
Hard back catalogue of the Exhibition held in London and New York, 220 pages fully illustrated with 46 colour plates. £30 or $40 inc. p.& p.

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Price band
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