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After Jean-Antoine Watteau, 'Perfect Harmony', 18th century

Key facts
Full title Perfect Harmony
Artist After Jean-Antoine Watteau
Artist dates 1684 - 1721
Date made 18th century
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 27.3 × 22.9 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Sir John Murray Scott, 1914
Inventory number NG2962
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Perfect Harmony
After Jean-Antoine Watteau

This small painting is an incomplete copy of a panel titled The Perfect Accord (L’Accord parfait), which Watteau probably painted between 1717 and 1719, and is now in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This pastoral scene of a couple strolling in the countryside as other people make music is typical of a fête galante, which Watteau excelled in painting.

For some time this copy was described as being from the ‘studio of Watteau’, but there is no reason to believe it was painted in his workshop. Nor is it the only copy, as over a dozen have been identified. The colours are close to the original but it is covered by thick yellowish varnish. There are also visible cracks in the surface and there has also been some loss of paint. Watteau’s painting includes a bust of Pan, the Greek god of wild nature and rustic music, in the upper right corner, but it cannot be seen in this copy.

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