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Watteau's Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France, Hardback Book

Watteau's Soldiers: Scenes of Military Life in Eighteenth-Century France Hardback


Celebrated for his dreamlike paintings of amorous aristocrats and melancholy actors, Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) also produced a number of captivating works with military subjects--paintings and drawings--early in his career.

They were executed when France was engaged in the costly and ultimately disastrous War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), but they look past the turbulence of battle and the heroic deeds of generals and kings to depict the more prosaic aspects of war--marches, halts, encampments, and bivouacs.

They focus on the quiet moments between the fighting, outside of military discipline, when soldiers could rest, daydream, smoke pipes, and play cards.

Although they owe a debt to seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish precedents, they put forward a new, thoroughly modern vision of war in which the soldier's inner life, his experience of war, is brought to the fore. Watteau's Soldiers offers a new interpretation of Watteau's military works.

There is a catalogue raisonne of all Watteau works related to military subjects, and a lively and accessible essay by Aaron Wile that explores Watteau's engagement with the cultural history of war, and the ordinary soldier's experience of it.

This visually appealing new volume is a welcome, thought-provoking study of a little-known aspect of this well-loved artist's career. Aaron Wile is the Anne L. Poulet Curatorial Fellow, The Frick Collection, New York, 2014-2016.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 112 pages, Illustrations, unspecified
  • Publisher: D Giles Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Art & design styles: Baroque
  • ISBN: 9781907804793



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