Apollo
Art Diary

La Surprise: Watteau in Los Angeles

19 November 2021

La Surprise (c. 1718-19) was esteemed in the 18th century as one of the finest of Watteau’s fêtes galantes, but in 1848 it vanished – until 2017, when it was acquired by the Getty. It is at the centre of this display of 12 paintings and drawings by Watteau from both public and private collections in Los Angeles. Marking the 300th anniversary of the artist’s death, the exhibition is the first ever dedicated to the artist on the West Coast. Find out more from the Getty’s website.

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The Country Dance (La Danse paysanne) (1711), Jean Antoine Watteau.

The Country Dance (La Danse paysanne) (1711), Jean Antoine Watteau. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. Photo: © 2015 Fredrik Nilsen

Two Studies of a Flutist and Study of a Head of a Boy (1716-1717), Jean Antoine Watteau. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Two Studies of a Flutist and Study of a Head of a Boy (1716-1717), Jean Antoine Watteau. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

The Ogling Woman (La Lorgneuse) (1716), Jean Antoine Watteau. Collection of Ariane and Lionel Sauvage.

The Ogling Woman (La Lorgneuse) (1716), Jean Antoine Watteau. Collection of Ariane and Lionel Sauvage.

Studies of Three Women (1716-1717), Jean Antoine Watteau. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Studies of Three Women (1716-1717), Jean Antoine Watteau. The J. Paul Getty Museum.

The Surprise (La Surprise)(c. 1718-1719), Jean Antoine Watteau.

The Surprise (La Surprise) (c. 1718-1719), Jean Antoine Watteau. The J. Paul Getty Museum.