Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux was a French sculptor born in Valenciennes. Watteau is another famous French artist born in the same town.
The Watteau monument is located in Valenciennes, square Saint-Géry (Nord - France). Many preparatory works are in the Fine Arts Museum in Valenciennes, where I took many pictures.
In 1860, Carpeaux sent a letter to the mayor of Valencienne offering to contribute the monument at cost. In July of the same year, Carpeaux presented a study of the project. Carpeaux worked on a new version of the monument in 1867.
In 1868, the artist decided that he would carve the statue of Watteau in marble and use stone for the four secondary figures.
By 1870, he has completed a full scale model of the main statue. But the cost estimate in 1874 for the monument is 27 000 French Francs. Carpeaux died on 12 October 1875, before the monument was started.
In 1879, it is decided to cast the main figure of Watteau in Bronze, based on Carpeaux’s full size model. The French State pays for the material. Another sculptor, Hiolle, is commissioned to create the four secondary figures and Emile Dusart was the architect on the project.
In 1881, the French government accepted to contribute to two third of the cost.
The monument was inaugurated on 12 October 1884, anniversary of Carpeaux’s death.