Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin
(French, 1699 - 1779)

French realist painter.

Chardin was born in Paris and at the age of nineteen, having shown an aptitude and enthusiasm for painting, he was sent to train under Pierre Jacques Cazes, who later became director of the Academy.  After two years Chardin moved into the studio to be trained by Noël-Nicolas Coypel, the half-brother of the more famous Antoine Coypel, a doyen of the Academy as a history painter.

Chardin’s first known work was a shop sign, probably in the style of Watteau and executed between 1722 and 1726. Other works were still-lifes inspired and strongly influenced by the Dutch and Flemish 17th century.  At this time he became friendly with the painter Aved who had grown up in Holland and came to Paris is 1722, bringing with him a number of Dutch pictures including Rembrandts.

In 1724 Chardin was made a Master Painter of the Academy of St Luke.  In 1728 Chardin exhibited The Skate (Musée du Louvre) and this was admired by a number of academicians who encouraged him to apply for membership of the Academy. He hung this work along with The Sideboard (Musée du Louvre) at the Academy. The success of these works enabled him to become a member of the Academy (on 25 September of this year); an unusual accomplishment as still-lifes were considered the lowest form of art, history painting being far more recognised and accepted at that time.

Throughout the remainder of his life Chardin was the loyalist of academicians and he exhibited consistently at the Salons. Chardin was promoted Councillor of the Academy on 28 September 1743, then made Treasurer on 22 March 1755.  After him becoming an academician the artist turned to painting genre scenes in which figures provide the main pictorial interest.  He continued this form of painting throughout the 1730s and 1740s.  His domestic figure works proved far more popular and reached a wide public though engravings.  But in the 1750s he turned to still-life and in 1771 illness and old age forced him to give up painting in oils. The final years were among his most fruitful and he turned to portraiture (including a number of self portraits in pastel). These were some of the finest portraits of the century. In 1775 he gave up work altogether and died four years later, on 6 December.

Despite his long career, he only produced approximatively 200 paintings, including many replicates of his own works.

He was the master to his son Pierre-Jean.


Catalogues raisonnés:

  • Philip Conisbee, Chardin, Oxford, Phaidon Press Ltd, 1985.
  • Pierre Roseberg & Renaud Temperini, Chardin, Suivi du catalogue des oeuvres, Paris, Flammarion, 1999.

External links:
Contributors:   Josselin, kohn1fox, rocsdad, kkvk
Name:Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin
Dates:1699 - 1779
Self Portraits
This artist has 132 artworks in the database. Add more!
Top owners of works by this artist
Musée du Louvre(France - Paris)33 artworks
Private collection12 artworks
National Gallery of Art - Washington DC(United States - Washington)9 artworks
Nationalmuseum - Stockholm(Sweden - Stockholm)6 artworks
National Gallery - London(United Kingdom - London)4 artworks
Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe(Germany - Karlsruhe)4 artworks
Hunterian Art Gallery - Glasgow University(United Kingdom - Glasgow)3 artworks
Museum of Fine Arts - Boston(United States - Boston)3 artworks
Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature(France - Paris)3 artworks
Philadelphia Museum of Art(United States - Philadelphia, PA)2 artworks
Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, NY(United States - New York)2 artworks

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Creative works made by this person are in the PUBLIC DOMAIN (not copyrighted).

This person died over 70 years ago (in 1779).

Josselin:9 edits
kohn1fox:3 edits
rocsdad:1 edit
kkvk:1 edit