Jean-Antoine Watteau
(French, 1684 - 1721)
Antoine Watteau
by Rosalba Carriera
This person is associated with: Rococo

French rococo painter.

After his training in Claude Gillot's workshop, he ran for the Prix de Rome in 1709, but he failed with his David Forgives Abigail and Brings her Food (the prize was awarded to Antoine Grison). He nevertheless managed to become academician in 1712. His reception piece was the Pilgrimage to Cythera , painted in 1717.

Watteau is especially famous for his fêtes galantes, a new kind of genre scene he designed, which represented young couples dancing or making music in parks. The underlined eroticism expressed in his works immediately reached its audience. Indeed, with the death of Louis XIV (in 1715), the devout moral imposed to the Court at the end of his long reign no longer stood. By now, freed from the watchful eye of the king, the aristocrats - led by the Regent - looked for happiness and pleasure, which were provided by Watteau in his works.

For the first time in Modern History, art was made only to please, whereas previous painters mostly created artworks charged with a Christian moral of repentance or austerity. This new paradigm was at the origin of Rococo, the dominant art movement in Europe during the reign of Louis XV (1715-1774), for which Watteau is regarded as the inventor.

Watteau died young at the peak of his fame in 1721. Several painters followed his style, notably Pater - his only student - and Lancret.


Catalogue raisonné: Edmond de Goncourt, Catalogue Raisonné d'Antoine Watteau, Paris, Rapilly, 1875.

External links:
Contributors:   Josselin, rocsdad, kkvk
Name:Jean-Antoine Watteau
Dates:1684 - 1721
This artist has 102 artworks in the database. Add more!
Top owners of works by this artist
Private collection23 artworks
Musée du Louvre(France - Paris)10 artworks
The State Hermitage Museum - St Petersburg(Russian Federation - St. Petersburg)9 artworks
Wallace Collection - London(United Kingdom - London)7 artworks
Musée Condé - Chantilly(France - Chantilly)4 artworks
Musée des Beaux Arts de Valenciennes(France - Valenciennes)4 artworks
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco - Legion of Honor(United States - San Francisco, California)4 artworks
Gemäldegalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin(Germany - Berlin)4 artworks
Metropolitan Museum of Art - New York, NY(United States - New York)3 artworks
Art Institute of Chicago(United States - Chicago)2 artworks
Schloss Charlottenburg(Germany - Berlin)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 1721).

Josselin:2 edits
rocsdad:1 edit
kkvk:1 edit