Baroque and Rococo

 

Baroque and Rococo Art Map



 




Jean-Antoine Watteau



 


 

Jean-Antoine Watteau

(b Valenciennes, bapt 10 Oct 1684; d Nogent-sur-Marne, nr Paris, 18 July 1721).

He is best known for his invention of a new genre, the fête galante, a small easel painting in which elegant people are depicted in conversation or music-making in a secluded parkland setting. His particular originality lies in the generally restrained nature of the amorous exchanges of his characters, which are conveyed as much by glance as by gesture, and in his mingling of figures in contemporary dress with others in theatrical costume, thus blurring references to both time and place.

Watteau’s work was widely collected during his lifetime and influenced a number of other painters in the decades following his death, especially in France and England. His drawings were particularly admired. Documented facts about Watteau’s life are notoriously few, though several friends wrote about him after his death (see Champion). Of over two hundred paintings generally accepted as his work—of which many of the compositions survive only in the form of reproductive prints by others—only the Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera (1717; Paris, Louvre), his morceau de réception for admission to the Académie Royale, and a handful of others can be dated with reasonable certainty. Moreover, most of the titles by which his works are known were not recorded until after his death, when prints of them were published.

 


Harlequin and Columbine

1716-18
Oil on wood, 36 x 26 cm
Wallace Collection, London

 
 


Gilles and his Family

c. 1716
Oil on wood, 28 x 21 cm
Wallace Collection, London


 


The French Comedy

1714
Oil on canvas, 37 x 48 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin


 

The Italian Comedy

1714
Oil on canvas
Staatliche Museen, Berlin


 

Two Cousins

c. 1716
Oil on canvas, 30 x 36 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


 

The Embarkation for Cythera

1717
Oil on canvas, 129 x 194 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


 

Embarkation for Cythera
1719
oil on canvas
Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin
 

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