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One of the finest of Coques’s portraits, 'A Family Group in a Landscape' depicts a sophisticated ensemble of figures. The father of the family decorously holds his wife’s hand while indicating the return of his sons from the hunt, which until shortly before the date of this painting had been an exclusive privilege of the nobility. A sister carrying a basket of fruit, which may indicate her hopes for a fruitful marriage, accompanies the boys. The background appears to be by another hand. The picture belonged to Watteau’s friend, the dealer Jean de Julienne, and later to the dealer Le Brun. Highly prized in the nineteenth century, it passed through the collections of Lucien Bonaparte, William II of Holland and Théodore Patureau, at whose sale it was bought by the 4th Marquess of Hertford.
oil on canvas
H 113 x W 171 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1857; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897