Pierrot, Harlequin and Scapin

(Arlequin, Scapin et Pierrot)

On display in:

West Gallery

Order image © All images subject to copyright

Artist or maker

Watteau, Antoine (b.1684, d.1721)


c 1719

dated by Surugue engraving

Place of production

  • Paris, France


  • oil on panel

Type of object

  • paintings

Accession number


Oil painting of five players of the commedia dell'arte shown in half-length. Pierrot stands on the left before a column with a term of Pan and a rose bush. To the right are Harlequin, wearing a black mask, more often associated with the character Scaramouche; a woman, possibly Silvie, probably playing a guitar and the character known as Crispin. Above this trio is a man, probably Scapin or Pantalon, pulling back a curtain. Mountains are in the right distance.

Physical description

Dimensions (mm) / weight (mg)

186 x 238
180 x 232 - sight

Signature & date

not signed or dated


on verso centre



  • Anon. sale, Paris 11 March 1776, no. 57; De Vougue sale, Paris, 15 March 1784, no. 118; owned by Sir Joshua Reynolds; P.R.A. (b.1723, d.1792), who possibly acquired it from Calonne who acquired it from Nazel; bought by Michael Bryan at Sir Joshua Reynolds Sale, 13 March, printed as 5 March, 1795 lot 83 as 'Watteau. A pair, a Masquerade and a Musical Conversation...' for 19 guineas; acquired by Lord Carysfort (d.Circa 1828); bought by Samuel Rogers at Lord Carysfort's Sale 14 June 1828, lot 29, 'A pair, small. A Masqyerade and a Musical Conversation...' for 60 guineas; bought by Bentley on behalf of Thomas Baring M.P. (b.1799, d.1873) at Samuel Rogers Sale, lot 566, 'A masquerade: a group of five figures in masquerade dress. From the Earl of Carysfort's Collection', for 155 guineas; inherited from Baring by his nephew Lord Northbrook (b.1826, d.1904); bought by Baroness Mathilde de Rothschild (b.1832, d.1924) around 1889; inherited by Albert von Goldschmidt-Rothschild (b.1879, d.1941); acquired by Baroness Edmond de Rothschild (b.1853, d.1935) in 1933; by descent to her son Mr James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); bequeathed to Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1957.

Exhibition history

  • British Institution Exhibition, 1829, London, titled as 'Masquerade Scene', lent by Rogers
  • Royal Academy Exhibition, 1889, London, no. 94, lent by Earl of Northbrook


  • Waddesdon (National Trust)
  • Bequest of James de Rothschild, 1957


  • Émile Dacier, Albert Vuaflart; Jean de Julienne et les Graveurs de Watteau au XVIIIe siècle; Paris; M Rousseau; 1922; no. 97; engraving by Surugue
  • Louis Dimier; Les Peintres Français du XVIII Siecle; 2 vols; Paris; Les Editions G.Van Oest; 1928-1930; p. 34, no. 60; as by Watteau
  • Hélène Adhémar; Watteau: sa vie, son oeuvre; Paris; Tisné; 1950; p. 222, no. 163; as a copy of the version in the Spencer collection
  • Michael Levey, French and Italian Paintings at Waddesdon, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 54, August 1959, 57-66; p. 57, fig. 2
  • Anita Brookner, French Pictures at Waddesdon, The Burlington Magazine, 101, 1959, 271-273; p. 273
  • Ellis Waterhouse, Anthony Blunt; Paintings: The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor; Fribourg; Office du Livre, The National Trust; 1967; p. 286, no. 135
  • Ettore Camesasca, John Sunderland; The complete paintings of Watteau; London; Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1971; p. 114, no. 155; as an autograph copy
  • Donald Posner; Antoine Watteau; Ithaca; Cornell University Press; 1984; p. 290, n. 53; rejects attribution to Watteau
  • François Moreau, Margaret Morgan Grasselli; Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) le peintre, son temps et sa legende; Geneva; Editions Clairefontaine; 1987; pp. 271-272, fig. 6.
  • Pierre Rosenberg; Antoine Watteau, 1684-1721: catalogue raisonné des dessins; 3 vols; Milan; Elemond S.P.A; 1996; vol. 2; p. 656, no. 400, gesture connected to Crispin; p. 1014, no. 596, woman seated playing a guitar; p. 1026, hand on sword; p. 1058, no. 621, standing Pierrot, related
  • Guillaume Glorieux, L'Angleterre et Watteau au XVIIIe siècle. La réception de la fête galante par les amateurs anglais, The British Art Journal, 7, 2006, 50 ff; pp. 52-53
  • Christoph Martin Vogtherr; Watteau at the Wallace Collection; 'Esprit et Vérité. Watteau and his Circle', Wallace Collection, London, 12 March - 5 June 2011; London; Wallace Collection; 2011; p. 100, fig. 61.
  • Lucy Davis, Mark Hallett; Sir Joshua Reynolds: Experiments in Paint; The Wallace Collection, London (12 March - 7 June 2015); London; Wallace Collection, Paul Holberton Publishing; 2015; p. 34, fig. 15.

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