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Antoine Watteau: 130 Master Drawings

Antoine Watteau: 130 Master Drawings

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Antoine Watteau: 130 Master Drawings

Länge:
139 Seiten
16 Minuten
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
May 14, 2015
ISBN:
9786050379532
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

One of the most brilliant and original artists of the eighteenth century, Antoine Watteau had an impact on the development of Rococo art in France and throughout Europe lasting well beyond his lifetime. Living only thirty-six years, and plagued by frequent illness, Watteau nonetheless rose from an obscure provincial background to achieve fame in the French capital during the Regency of the duc d'Orléans. Watteau clearly had a genuine love of music. His drawings of those playing and listening offer uncanny portraits of the way it can heighten emotions. Equally, the play of light he orchestrates on fine fabrics, on children’s skin or on various elements of his landscapes, provides a startling anticipation of the Impressionists. He is the inventor of la fête galante, a genre that shows the bourgeoisie at play outdoors. It was an update of the classic format which portrayed mythical beings in pastoral settings. For, rather than selling to royals or aristocrats, Watteau’s art was purchased by rich bankers and tradesmen. His solution was to forge a style they could accept. He replaced traditional nymphs and shepherds with posh Parisians – shown at play not in some mythic Arcardia, but in their own contemporary parks and gardens. He personalized the scenes with figures from two ‘outside’ worlds, those of the theatre and of music. Many of the models for such protagonists were Watteau’s own friends: Parisian actors and musicians he often drew. His drawing ability remains spectacular. But even more startling is his modernity.
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
May 14, 2015
ISBN:
9786050379532
Format:
Buch

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Foreword

One of the most brilliant and original artists of the eighteenth century, Antoine Watteau (1684–1721) had an impact on the development of Rococo art in France and throughout Europe lasting well beyond his lifetime. Living only thirty-six years, and plagued by frequent illness, Watteau nonetheless rose from an obscure provincial background to achieve fame in the French capital during the Regency of the duc d'Orléans. His paintings feature figures in aristocratic and theatrical dress in lush imaginary landscapes. Their amorous and wistful encounters create a mood but do not employ narrative in the traditional sense. During Watteau's lifetime, a new term, fête galante, was coined to describe them. Watteau was also a gifted draftsman whose sparkling chalk sheets capture subtle nuances of deportment and expression.

The son of a roofer, Watteau was born in 1684 in Valenciennes, a small city in the north that had only been ceded to France from the Spanish Netherlands six years earlier. Details of his initial training remain obscure, but early biographers concur that shortly upon arriving in the French capital, Watteau was employed in the mass production of crude copies of devotional paintings. Sometime around 1705, he began working for Claude Gillot, who specialized in comic scenes inspired by the commedia dell'arte and who, in turn, introduced him to Claude Audran III (1658–1734), a designer of ornament and interior decoration. Working under these two influential masters, Watteau developed his mature style, increasingly incorporating theatrical subject matter and designs based on the airy arabesques that had begun to dominate interior design.

Despite his unconventional training, Watteau was permitted to compete for the Prix de Rome at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. He won a second-place prize in 1709, but to his great disappointment was never sent to study in Italy. With the backing of Charles de La Fosse, a fellow admirer of Rubens and Venetian painting, Watteau was accepted into the Academy in 1712. His innovative subject matter did not fit into any established category in the academic hierarchy, and he was ultimately accepted with the unprecedented title

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