Inventory number
Watteau, Jean Antoine
Fête in a Park
1712 - 1713
47,2 cm x 56,9 cm
Genre and Society
On display
Royal Collection (Collection of Isabel Farnesio, Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia, “callejón del retrete”, 1746, n. 52; La Granja Palace, “pieza cuadrada inmediata al dormitorio”, 1766, n. 52; Royal Palace of Aranjuez, Madrid, “gabinete contiguo a los retretes”, 1794, n. 52; Royal Palace, Madrid, “cuarto del infante don Francisco-primera pieza”, 1814-1818, n. 52)

This work is typical of Watteau's “Fêtes Galantes”, small scenes for the beginning of the Rococo that represent agreeable parties in the midst of trees and exuberant nature, filled with exquisite sensuality, delicacy and lyricism. In these pieces, Watteau offers a scrupulous study of the society of that moment, including a few unavoidable touches of cynicism that came from the knowledge of theater set design he gained at the Commedia dell' Arte.

Here, he presents a series of couples and groups of people in a clearing in the woods, with fountains dedicated to Neptune, the god of the seas, and Ceres, goddess of fecundity and marriage. This is a clear example of his technique, with rapid and savory brushstrokes and a very sensitive use of light. These characteristics are drawn from the Baroque paintings of Peter Paul Rubens and from Venetian painting.

This work was listed in the 1746 inventory of Queen Isabel de Farnesio's (1692-1766) collection at the Palace of la Granja de San Ildefonso, and in 1794 at Aranjuez Palace. In 1814, it was at Madrid's Royal Palace.

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