The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Les Vivandières de Brest (The Vivandières of Brest)
  • Jean-Baptiste Pater (1695 - 1736)
  • Les Vivandières de Brest (The Vivandières of Brest)
  • France
  • c.1728
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 46.7 x 59.5 cm
  • P452
  • Small Drawing Room
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • The painting is a good example of the military scenes that Pater produced. The theme recalls the the rare encampment scenes of Watteau and the very common military pictures of Dutch seventeenth-century artists such as Wouwermans, which were highly prized by eighteenth-century collectors. Like Watteau, Pater did not represent the actual violence of war, but the marches and rests of soldiers off the battle site. Pater's reception piece for the Paris Academy was a similar scene, which indicates the importance of this subject for the painter and his collectors. The title derives from the print made after the composition by Le Bas in 1760. It probably refers to the French repulse of the British forces at Brest in June 1694. The verses by Charles Moraine, which accompany the print, exhort the belles Vivandières, female camp followers, to feed the needy soldiers.