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Jean-Baptiste-Joseph Pater (1695-1736)

Fête Champêtre c.1728-36

Oil on canvas | 50.6 x 60.2 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external) | RCIN 400671

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  • There are four Pater genre scenes of similar size currently in the Royal Collection. One slightly smaller pair (this painting and RCIN 400673) was first listed in 1819 (with an attribution to Watteau) in the Bath Room of the King's apartments in Buckingham House. It is likely that both paintings, like many at Buckingham Palace, came from the collection of Frederick, Prince of Wales. A figure group in RCIN 400673 was copied in a drawing in the Royal Library (RCIN 980459) by Frederick’s sister, Princess Caroline (1713-57), which makes it almost certain that this painting was in the Royal Collection during her lifetime. In July 1820 this pair was taken to Carlton House ‘by command of HM’ (George IV), presumably in order that they might join the other slightly larger pair, which he himself had acquired, also with an attribution to Watteau (RCIN 400672 and 400674). The four paintings have remained together ever since, featuring for example in the display at the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in 1852.

    Pater studied with Watteau and was admitted to the French Academy in 1728 as a painter of fetes galantes, a type of painting invented by his master. This is a typical example of a scene involving fashionable couples apparently leading the lives of simple and care-free rustics, gathering in a glade, hanging their bagpipe on a tree, collecting flowers and making love.


    Probably acquired by Frederick, Prince of Wales; recorded in the Bath Room at Buckingham Palace in 1819 (no 795); brought from there by George IV in 1820; added to the inventories of Carlton House dated 1816 (no 577) and 1819 (no 577); in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace in 1841 (no 66)

  • Medium and techniques

    Oil on canvas


    50.6 x 60.2 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external)