Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater
French, 1695-1736
Collected by major museums
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., J. Paul Getty Museum

Painter Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater was Jean-Antoine Watteau’s only student and closest follower. Even though Pater was allegedly dismissed in a flare-up of Watteau’s difficult temper, Pater ardently declared that everything he knew came from his short period of instruction under the master (and they would eventuall reconcile.) In fact, his early work so closely resembled Watteau’s that Pater’s works were sometimes misattributed to him. Pater’s style was also influenced by Flemish genre paintings; his later works were a blend of Watteau’s romantic vision with Flemish joviality. Pater was especially known for his fête galante paintings, and depictions of open-air gatherings modeled after actual festivals. He also painted a few overtly erotic scenes of love and courtship.

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