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"Bivouac" was commissioned by Watteau's friend, the painter and antiquarian Sirois when he returned home in 1709. The artist has treated the everyday aspect of war, showing soldiers resting. He manages to convey various characteristic poses and changes of mood, capturing the muted conversation of the tired men in the evening twilight by the field kitchen. The solitary figure on the right in the crowd is looking at the viewer with sad irony. This image was frequently repeated later in many of the artist's works, adding a sceptical note to his fete galante.

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