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The Country Dance

Date: ca. 1711
Dimensions:
17 x 12 3/4 in. (43.2 x 32.4 cm.)
Medium: oil on panel
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Adele S. Browning Memorial Collection, gift of Mildred Browning Green and Honorable Lucius Peyton Green
Inscription: Paper label on back, top right of frame: 3575 Oval paper label on back, top right of frame: C.H. Pottier / EMBALLEUR / 14, rue Gaillon, PARIS / HIRSCH 23 11 37 Upper left (on label?): No. 15654 / Size: 17 x 12 ¾ / La Danse Paysanne / Title / Jean Antoine Watteau / Artist / 1684-1721 Partially torn oval paper label at upper center: Zurich Upper right (paper label?): Newhouse…(?) Douanes Française stamps at center and twice at lower right Illegible stamp at upper left: Paris [partially legible] Small (paper?) label at center, scribbled over in ball-point pen Torn off stamped (?) paper (?) label at lower left: N…
Object Number: 78.20.19
Label Text:Watteau invented the fête galante, a type of painting depicting elegant ladies and gentlemen socializing in pastoral settings. In this example, a couple dances to the sound of a hurdy-gurdy in a forest clearing. Dancing, a metaphor of love and courtship, plays a central role in many of Watteau’s fêtes galantes. A striking feature of the painting is the roundel containing the figures, which is set into a rectangular wood panel. The area surrounding the roundel was added later, probably between 1715 and 1731.