Jean-Antoine Watteau

France, 1684 - 1721
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Jean-Antoine Watteau oil paintings
Jean-Antoine Watteau : The Dance
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : The Music Lesson
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : Italian Comedians
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : The Love Song
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : The French Comedy
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : The Italian Comedy
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : La Danse Champetre
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : La Fete d'Amour
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : Venezianische Feste
1717, oil on canvas, 56 x 46 cm
Jean-Antoine Watteau : The Proud One
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : Gilles
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : Pierrot content
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : Gilles II
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : The Toilette
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : Mezzetin
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : Two Cousins
Oil On Canvas
Jean-Antoine Watteau : Les Champs Elysees
Oil On Canvas
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Biography
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(Jean) Antoine Watteau, who was a French painter, is regarded as one of the outstanding artists of the rococo period and as a forerunner of 19th-century impressionism. Watteau was born on October 10, 1684, in Valenciennes, a Flemish town that had become French shortly before his birth. At the age of 14 he began to study under an obscure painter of religious subjects in his native town. In 1702 he went to Paris, where he eked out a living as a painter for a dealer in cheap devotional pictures. He later studied under the French engraver and stage designer Claude Gillot, from whom he gained an interest in the character of the fashionable Italian commedia dell'arte. About 1708 Watteau began to work with the decorative artist Claude Audran, curator of the Luxembourg Palace collections. There he had an opportunity to study a great series of baroque paintings by the Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens. In 1709 Watteau placed second in the competition for the Prix de Rome and thereafter received many important commissions. Named an associate of the French Academy in Paris in 1712, he was elected to full membership in 1717. Watteau, who had a frail constitution and was often ill, succumbed to tuberculosis. He died in Nogent-sur-Marne on July 18, 1721. Watteau's canvases reflect the influence of the great Flemish painters, particularly Rubens, and of the Venetian school of painting. His own distinctive style, however, demonstrated a feeling for light and color and offered a delicate sensuousness and lyric grace that had been previously unexplored. Other rococo painters imitated Watteau's style, but they failed to achieve the dreamlike quality of his paintings. Watteau's reputation declined with the rise of neoclassicism in French art, but after the French Revolution, and especially in the romantic period, it rose again.

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