Philippe Mercier (Berlin 1689/91-1760 London)
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Philippe Mercier (Berlin 1689/91-1760 London)

A wooded landscape with elegant company playing bowls, a country house beyond

Details
Philippe Mercier (Berlin 1689/91-1760 London)
A wooded landscape with elegant company playing bowls, a country house beyond
oil on canvas
25 x 30 in. (63.5 x 76.2 cm.)
Provenance
Anonymous Sale; Christie's, London, 10 March 1978, lot 31 (to Dreesmann).
Dr Anton C.R. Dreesmann (inventory no. A-27).
Special notice

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Lot Essay

The popularity of Watteau's fêtes galantes and fêtes champêtres in England is attested to by the number of pictures of the type by such artists as Pater that were recorded in England at an early date. Mercier was the most successful of the immigrant artists who naturalized the genre and here employs an English canvas of the size used for what were then termed three-quarter portraits.

Jonh Ingamells (letter of 4 May 1978) dates this picture to circa 1723-5 and points out that it is related to two other compositions: the woman standing in the centre is similar to, but reversed from, that of the artist's wife in the etching of his family of circa 1723-5 (J. Ingamells and R. Raines, 'A Catalogue of the Paintings, Drawings and Etchings of Philip Mercier', The Walpole Society, XLVI, 1978, no. 287, pl. 136); while the back view of the woman's head is found in his L'Escamoteur of 1720-5 in the Louvre, Paris (ibid., no. 242). Mercier's study for the latter figure was in the Heseltine collection (ibid., no. 283), where it was attributed to Watteau, to whom the Louvre picture itself was given until de Goncourt recognised its connection with the engraving by Ravenet that specified Mercier's authorship.
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