The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Bathing Party in a Park
  • Jean-Baptiste Pater (1695 - 1736)
  • Bathing Party in a Park
  • France
  • c. 1730
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 64.2 x 85 cm
  • P426
  • Landing
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • One of Pater's main contributions to the new genre of Fêtes galantes were scenes of female bathers. He moved Watteau’s invention to a more openly erotic plane replacing careful allusions by hands-on activity. Still, the framework of the Fête galante stays intact: the group of beautiful young women and men, the ideal Southern landscape. The originally carefree atmosphere has considerably changed, for it now aims primarily at male observers and has lost its subdued calm. The earliest examples of female bathers in Pater’s work all date from c. 1728/1729, long after Watteau’s death. Pater pursued the topic until his death. The Wallace painting is part of a larger group of similar scenes. An unfinished painting in Grenoble might have stayed in Pater's studio to be used as a model for several versions.