Ever since the baritone Paul Barroilhet, the first recorded owner, found himself in dire straights and put it up for auction in 1855, this must have been the most often sold Watteau. When it was auctioned at Christie’s in 1998 for $937,000, it had already been sold no less than six times. In 2007 it was put up for auction again, this time at Sotheby’s, but remained unsold.

Habent sua fata picturae.

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