Antoine Watteau (1684 - 1721)
- La cascade (The Fountain)
- 2nd quarter of the 18th century
- Oil on canvas
- Image size: 45 x 35.5 cm
Frame size: 71 x 63 x 12 cm
- Reserve Gallery
- A copy of a composition by Watteau that is recorded in an engraving by Gérard Scotin II of 1729. Two versions are known: A circular original in New York (Metropolitan Museum of Art; mistakenly called a Watteau copy in the museum) showing just the main figures, and another one, cut down to the same circular field and then re-enlarged to the full composition in the engraving, last at Galerie Koller, Zurich, in 1980. The attribution of the latter can not be confirmed. The Wallace Collection painting was acquired by the 4th Marquess of Hertford at the sale of his brother, Lord Henry Seymour, in 1860, perhaps for sentimental reasons.
In 1754, Watteau's composition served as a model for a portrait of Henry Seymour Conway, briother of the 1st Marquess, with his wife and daughter by John Giles Eccardt. The copy after 'La cascade' is thus likely to be the first painting from the Watteau circle that entered the collection of the family, as it was probably used as the template for Eccart's portrait.