The Remedy

Object Details

Title:

The Remedy

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean-Antoine Watteau (French, 1684 - 1721)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

about 1716 - 1717

Medium:

Red, black, and white chalk

Dimensions:

23.3 x 37.1 cm (9 3/16 x 14 5/8 in.)

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A young woman lies on her bed, provocatively displayed in the nude, while a nurse leans attentively over her, ready to administer an enema. Jean-Antoine Watteau drew the scene with perfect mastery, using a subtle patterning of red, black and white chalk lines to create shadows and highlights. In drawings such as this one, he made this technique, known as trois crayons, famous. He sketched the nurse's head twice, trying two different angles over another study of the model's head.

Watteau made this highly finished drawing in preparation for a painting now in the Norton Simon Museum. The severely trimmed painting lacks the nurse and severs the nude below her knees.

Provenance

Frédéric Villot, French, 1809 - 1875 (Paris)

Alexandre Dumas fils, French, 1824 - 1895 (Paris)

Antoine Vollon, French, 1833 - 1900

Camille Groult, 1837 - 1908 (Paris)

Jean Groult, French, 1868 - 1951 (Paris), by descent

Pierre Bordeaux-Groult, by descent

John R. Gaines, American, 1928 - 2005 (Lexington, KY)

May 16-18, 1859

Hôtel Drouot, lot 184 (Villon sale; unsold)

December 6, 1875

Hôtel Drouot, lot 46 (Villon sale)

Exhibitions
Watteau 1684-1721 (June 1984 to May 1985) (88; Catalogue by M. Grasselli and P. Rosenberg with N. Parmantier)
  • Schloss Charlottenberg, (Berlin), June, 1984 to May, 1985
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), June, 1984 to May, 1985
  • Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, (Paris), June, 1984 to May, 1985
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (117)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (115)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Watteau and His World: French Drawings from 1700 to 1750 (October 19, 1999 to May 8, 2000) (24; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • The Frick Collection, (New York), October 19, 1999 to January 9, 2000
Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th Century Motion Picture (2000) (March 14 to May 28, 2000) (24; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 14 to May 28, 2000
French Drawings from the Age of Greuze (September 10 to December 1, 2002) (24; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 10 to December 1, 2002
A Light Touch: Exploring Humor in Drawing (September 23 to December 7, 2008) (24; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 23 to December 7, 2008
Antoine Watteau: Virtuosity and Delight (March 12 to June 5, 2011) (24; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), March 12 to June 5, 2011