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Here’s hoping this painting’s legit (because we spent about $10 million for it)

March 16, 2012

Jean-Antoine Watteau (French, 1684–1721), The Italian Comedians, ca. 1720. Oil on canvas. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

The J.Paul Getty Museum has reportedly dropped approximately $10 million, according to the New York Times, for this work by the great French painter Jean-Antoine Watteau … at least, they sure hope it’s by him. Seems the attribution has shifted repeatedly over the past couple of centuries and did so right up until it was sold.  According to The Art Tribune, the painting appeared at auction at the “Hôtel Drouot on 5 April 2011 at Gros-Delettrez under a cautious attribution of ‘French school around 1720, circle of Antoine Watteau’ (catalogue description), finally transformed into ‘Antoine Watteau and a close follower'” and sold for “1,305,000€ including charges, a far cry from the initial estimate of 40 to 60,000€.”  ArtDaily has additional coverage.

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