Recently Discovered Watteau Masterpiece on Loan to The Frick Collection
Antoine Watteau’s magnificent picture La Surprise has long been deemed a masterpiece of eighteenth-century French painting by scholars and connoisseurs. The panel was originally in the collection of Nicolas Hénin (1691–1724), Councilor to the King and a close friend of the artist, for whom it may have been painted. The work then entered several prestigious Parisian collections before ending up in England and disappearing from public view. Unpublished, unexhibited, and presumed lost for nearly two hundred years, La Surprise was discovered in an English private collection in 2007.