It would be difficult to think of an artist further removed from the muck and misery of war than Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721), who is known as a painter of amorous aristocrats and melancholy actors. And yet, early in his career, Watteau painted a number of scenes of military life. They were produced during one of the darkest chapters of France’s history, the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), but the martial glory on which most military painters trained their gaze held no interest for Watteau. Instead, he focused instead on the most prosaic aspects of war — marches, halts, and encampments. The resulting works show the quiet moments between the fighting, when soldiers could rest and daydream, smoke pipes and play cards.

Presented exclusively at The Frick Collection in the summer of 2016, Watteau’s Soldiers is the first exhibition devoted solely to these captivating pictures, introducing the artist’s engagement with military life to a larger audience while exploring his unusual working methods. Among the paintings, drawings, and prints will be four of the seven known military scenes — with the Frick’s own Portal of Valenciennes as the centerpiece — as well as the recently rediscovered Supply Train, which has never before been exhibited publicly in a museum. Also featured will be thirteen studies of soldiers in red chalk, many directly related to the paintings on view, as well as a selection of works by Watteau’s predecessors and followers, the Frick’s Calvary Camp by Philips Wouwerman among them.


LOCATION: The Frick Collection
DATE: July 12 - October 2, 2016
Click here for more info.
The Frick Collection 1 East 70th St New York, NY 10021

'Watteau's Soldiers' at The Frick Collection

When
Jul 12 - Oct 2, 2016
Where
The Frick Collection
1 East 70th St
New York, NY 10021
Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721), The Portal of Valenciennes, ca. 1711–12, oil on canvas, The Frick Collection; photo: Michael Bodycomb

It would be difficult to think of an artist further removed from the muck and misery of war than Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721), who is known as a painter of amorous aristocrats and melancholy actors. And yet, early in his career, Watteau painted a number of scenes of military life. They were produced during one of the darkest chapters of France’s history, the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), but the martial glory on which most military painters trained their gaze held no interest for Watteau. Instead, he focused instead on the most prosaic aspects of war — marches, halts, and encampments. The resulting works show the quiet moments between the fighting, when soldiers could rest and daydream, smoke pipes and play cards.

Presented exclusively at The Frick Collection in the summer of 2016, Watteau’s Soldiers is the first exhibition devoted solely to these captivating pictures, introducing the artist’s engagement with military life to a larger audience while exploring his unusual working methods. Among the paintings, drawings, and prints will be four of the seven known military scenes — with the Frick’s own Portal of Valenciennes as the centerpiece — as well as the recently rediscovered Supply Train, which has never before been exhibited publicly in a museum. Also featured will be thirteen studies of soldiers in red chalk, many directly related to the paintings on view, as well as a selection of works by Watteau’s predecessors and followers, the Frick’s Calvary Camp by Philips Wouwerman among them.


LOCATION: The Frick Collection
DATE: July 12 - October 2, 2016
Click here for more info.
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