Art: Metropolitan's Watteau

Sixty years ago a good picture by Jean Antoine Watteau cost less than $500. Last week Manhattan's Metropolitan Museum paid some $250,000 for its first Watteau painting. For $250,000 the Metropolitan in 1870, the year it was founded, could have bought every Watteau extant. Even in the last few years $250,000 would have bought two good Rembrandts, an El Greco, a couple of Gainsboroughs, several Rubens, at least one Goya, one Corot, and one C├ęzanne.

What the Metropolitan got last week for its money was Watteau's excellent...

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