Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721)
Three Studies of Resting Soldiers (recto), ca. 1713–14
Verso: A Group of Actors
6 7/8 × 8 9/16 in. (17.5 x 21.7 cm)
École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris
Watteau’s drawings are notable for the way they capture the interiority of their subjects, often by focusing on states of repose. The men here, probably drawn from the same model, are immersed in a world of private experience, enjoying a moment of tranquility that defies the dehumanizing conditions of war. Two of the figures appear in other works in this exhibition: the soldier on the left, with his musket in a different position, in Halt of a Detachment and the middle soldier in The Supply Train.