Exhibitions/ Art Object
{{img.publicCaption}}

Recruits Going to Join the Regiment

Artist:
Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne)
Date:
ca. 1715–16
Medium:
Etching with drypoint
Dimensions:
8 7/8 x 13 7/16 in. (22.6 x 34.2 cm)
Classification:
Prints
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gift of Dr. Mortimer Sackler, Theresa Sackler and Family, and The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 2006
Accession Number:
2006.43
Not on view
Recruits Going to Join the Regiment is part of a group of works depicting military subjects made by Watteau early in his career. As a group, they avoid bloodshed and violence, focusing instead on the mundane aspects of the soldiers’s itinerant existence. A lively and flickering ink line animates what might otherwise be a dreary subject: young recruits trudging towards a war front to replace soldiers who have deserted or died. Their progress from right to left traces an arabesque across and into the composition, their placement and varied poses suggestive of the elegant and precise moves of contemporary dance.
Although reproductive prints were made after much of his painted and drawn oeuvre, etchings by Watteau’s own hand are exceedingly rare. He was not trained as a printmaker, but on a few occasions made an initial design with an etching needle on a copper plate that would later be re-worked by a professional printmaker using a burin. In the process of preparing the plate for a large edition, the engraver--in this case Henri-Simon Thomassin the Younger (1687-1741)-- would reinforce the image with deeper engraved lines, largely obliterating Watteau’s delicate and animated etched line. This is a rare impression of the first state of the print made before the plate was re-worked.
Vendor: Paul Prouté, Paris
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 10, 2006–July 9, 2006.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Artists and Amateurs: Etching in Eighteenth-Century France," October 1, 2013–January 5, 2014.

Carmen C. Bambach, Nadine Orenstein, Samantha Rippner, Perrin Stein "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2005-2006." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 64, no. 2, New York, Fall 2006, p. 44, ill.

Perrin Stein Artists and Amateurs: Etching in 18th-Century France. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2013, cat. no. 2, 21, 22, 186, ill.



Related Objects

Seated Woman

Artist: Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne) Date: 1716–17 Medium: Black, red and white chalk Accession: 1975.1.763 On view in:Not on view

The four Seasons of the Year from Watteau

Artist: After Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne) Date: 1747 Medium: Etching Accession: 37.58.2(1-4) On view in:Not on view

Figures françoises et comiques nouvellement inventées par M. Watteau; Figures de modes dessinées et gravées à l'eau forte par Watteau; a terminées au buin par Thomassin le fils

Artist: Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne) Date: 1710?–?1720 Accession: NE2049.5.W38 W38 1710 On view in:Not on view

Standing man with his right hand resting on a basin, shown in three-quarters view with his head turned toward the left, from the series 'Figures of fashion' (Figures de modes)

Artist: Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne) Date: ca. 1710 Medium: Etching Accession: 2012.136.74.2 On view in:Not on view

Standing man with right hand tucked into his waistcoat, shown in frontal view with his head turned toward the left, from the series 'Figures of fashion' (Figures de modes)

Artist: Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne) Date: ca. 1710 Medium: Etching Accession: 2012.136.74.4 On view in:Not on view