The Gazer (Le Lorgneur) (Primary Title)

Jean-Antoine Watteau, French, 1684 - 1721 (Artist)

ca. 1716
oil on panel
Unframed: 12 3/4 × 9 7/16 in. (32.39 × 23.97 cm)
Framed: 19 3/4 × 16 1/4 in. (50.17 × 41.28 cm)
This type of painting, invented by Watteau, is called a fête galante (courtship party) and usually depicts figures in fancy dress making erotic overtures to one another (here quite literally). The two musicians vie for the attention of a demure woman, their instruments thinly veiling their ultimate intentions. Watteau’s dream world, at once fantasy and deliberately low comedy, was inspired above all by Venetian 16th and Dutch 17th century painting.
Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams Fund
John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the Wertheimer Family, Virginia Musuem of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, July 11 - October 29, 2000

The Age of Elegance and Grandeur, Artmobile, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, September 1967 - June 1968

La Peinture Francaise dans les Collections Americaines, Gallerie des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux, France, May - September 1966

The Human Form in Art, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, DeYoung Museum and San Francisco Museum, November 10, 1964 - January 3, 1965

Les Fêtes Galantes, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, January 20 - March 5, 1956

Guildhall Exhibition, London, 1902 and 1904
Curry, David, et al. John Singer Sargent: Portraits of the Werthheimer Family. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2000. Exhibition brochure. (No. 3, n.p.).

Barriault, Anne. Selections: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1997. (P. 62).

Posner, Donald. Antoine Watteau. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984. (P. 154).

Morse, John D. Old Masters in America. New York: Abbeville Press , 1979.

Ferre, Jean, et al. Watteau. Volume IV. Madrid: Athena, 1975. (P. 1110; 1120; 1219).

Rosenberg, Pierre and Ettore Camesascal. Tout l’oeuvre peint de Watteau. Paris: Flammarion, 1970. (No. 115, pp. 105-106).

Haydon, Harold. Great Art Treasures in America’s Smaller Museums, Country Beautiful. New York: Putnam’s Sons, 1967. (P.101).

Cheek, Leslie. European Art in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1966. (No. 54, p. 39-40).

La Peinture Francaise: Collections Americaines. Bordeaux: Municipalite de Bordeaux, 1966. (No. 33, p. 29).

Haverkamp-Beegmann, Egbert, et al. Drawings from the Clark Art Institute. Vol. I. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1964. (P. 45).

Mirimonde, A.-P. “Les Sujets Musicaux chez Antoine Watteau.” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 58 (1961). (P. 270).

Mathey, J. Antoine Watteau: Peintures Reapparues, inconnues ou negligees par les historiens. Paris: F. de Nobele, 1959. (P. 19).

Time Magazine LXVII, no. 3 (January 16, 1956). (P.72-73).

Christison, Muriel. “Watteau, Painter of Fetes Galantes.” Virginia Museum Bulletin Supplement 16, no. 5, January 1956.

Art Quarterly XVIII, no. 4 (Winter 1955). (P. 404).

Levy, Jean. “Watteau’s ‘Le Longeur.’” Burlington Magazine XCVI, no. 616 (July 1954): 197-202.

Adhemar, Helene. Watteau, sa vie-son oeuvre. Paris: Tisne, 1950. (No. 171, pp. 223-224).

Florisoone, Michel. Le Dix-Hutieme Siecle. Paris, 1948. (Pp.13-16).

Kimball, Fiske. The Creation of the Rococo. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1943. (Pp. 112-114).

Eisenstadt, Mussia. Watteau’s Fetes Galantes und ihre Ursprunge. Berlin: B. Cassirer, 1930. (Pp.105-117).

Manuel de la Conservation et de la Restauration des Peintures. Office International des Musees, 1939. (No. 30, p.159).

Dacier, Emile and Albert Vuaflart. Jean de Jullienne et les Graveurs de Watteau. Paris: Société pour l'étude de la gravure française, 1929. (P. 12).

de Fourcaud, L. Revue de l’Art Ancien et Moderne XV (1904). (P.198).
Collection of M. de Jullienne, Paris. [1] Collection of Charles-Antoine Coypel [1694-1752], Paris. [2] (La Ferte, Paris) by 1797. [3] Collection M. Duval, Geneva; (Phillips, London) by 1846. Collection Count de Morny, Paris; [4] Purchased by Niveneuse in 1852. [5] Collection Duc de Luynes, Paris. [6] Hawkins Collection. A. de Rothschild Collection, London. Sir Asher Wertheimer Collection, London; Purchased by E. Cronier, Paris; [7] Collection of Alfred Mame by 1905; Inherited by his son, Jean Mame. Collection J. Darmon, Paris; [8] Purchased by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), Richmond, Virginia in June of 1955. [9]

[1] Confirmed by 1727 engraving by Scotin. See Emile Dacier and Albert Vauflart, Jean de Julienne et les graveurs de Watteau au 18e siecle. Paris: Société pour l'étude de la gravure française, 1929; and Jean Levy, "Watteau's 'Le Lorgneur,'" The Burlington Magazine 96, no. 616 (July 1954): 197-202.

[2] Coypel is believed to have acquired the painting between 1727 and 1731. The painting was sold after his death. Levy cites the sale taking place in April 1753. It is unknown who purchased the painting at the Coypel sale. See Jean Levy, "Watteau's 'Le Lorgneur,'" The Burlington Magazine 96, no. 616 (July 1954), 198.

[3] Anonymous sale on February 20, 1797. This sale may have been followed by two additional anonymous sales, in 1828 and again in 1831. Unconfirmed; listed on an unattributed, undated document in object file. See VMFA Curatorial file.

[4] Probably Charles Auguste Louis Joseph de Morny, also known as Duke de Morny [1811-1865]. The painting was sold through unknown dealer on May 24, 1852, according to undated document written by A. Wertheimer. See VMFA Curatorial file.

[5] Name as it appears in the sale catalogue. Thought to be the Francophone spelling of the name Nieuwenhuys, according to A. Wertheimer. See VMFA Curatorial file.

[6] Unconfirmed. Listed on undated, unattributed document in the object file, but not included on object card. See VMFA Curatorial file.

[7] E. Cronier is believed to have sold the painting in December of 1905. See Jean Levy, "Watteau's 'Le Lorgneur,'" The Burlington Magazine 96, no. 616 (July 1954), 198; and VMFA Curatorial file.

[8] The VMFA object card denominates the owner as a Joseph Darmon; unattributed and undated document in the object file names the owner as Jean Darmon. See VMFA Curatorial and Registration files.

[9] Accessioned June 9, 1955.

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.