The Supply Train, ca. 1715
Oil on panel (about 21⁄2 in. of landscape cut off right side of original by 1756)
11 1/8 x 12 3/8 in. (28.2 x 31.4 cm)
Collection Lionel and Ariane Sauvage
This painting, which, like most of Watteau’s paintings, has darkened and abraded with age, is probably one of Watteau’s last military works. Formerly in the collection of Cardinal Luigi Valenti Gonzaga (1725–1808), a celebrated eighteenth-century art collector, it was only recently rediscovered. The disordered composition conveys something of the aimlessness of camp life, yet, as always, Watteau’s detached approach carries no moral judgment about war or its participants.