Jean-Antoine Watteau: 8 works

A slideshow of artworks auto-selected from multiple collections

By Google Arts & Culture

Heureux age! Age d'or (Happy Age! Golden Age) (c. 1716–20) by Jean-Antoine WatteauKimbell Art Museum

'As a young man, Watteau came to Paris from Valenciennes, a Flemish town that had recently come under French rule. In the French capital he painted decorative and theatrical subjects, and soon made his mark as the inventor of the fête galante, in which fashionable figures engaged in the rituals of love in a parkland setting.'

Head of a Woman, Turned Three-Quarters to the Right (18th century) by Antoine WatteauThe Morgan Library & Museum

'In the painted versions, Watteau has embellished the woman's head with a coiffure and hat, and she is shown with her eyes cast further downward at her seated companions, with a more idealized visage than in this robust study from life.'

Fetes Venitiennes (1718 — 1719) by Jean-Antoine WatteauScottish National Gallery

'Her male dancing partner is Nicolas Vleughels, a Flemish painter, who was Watteau's friend and landlord.'

Seated Young Woman (ca. 1715-17) by Antoine WatteauThe Morgan Library & Museum

'Watteau is best known for his rapidly executed figure studies in trois crayons, using red, black, and white chalks. This sheet is an exceptional example of his mastery of the technique and embodies such immediacy and energy that one does not notice at first that the artist did not include the lower half of the woman's right leg and foot and failed to indicate the base on which she is seated.'

The Love Lesson (1716/1717) by Antoine WatteauNationalmuseum Sweden

'X-ray images show that Watteau painted The Love Lesson on a coach door bearing a coat of arms with two unicorns and the crown of a marquis.'

The Italian Comedians (probably 1720) by Antoine WatteauNational Gallery of Art, Washington DC

'This tension between illusion and reality is typical of Watteau and influenced a generation of his followers to explore the relationships between painting and theater.'

The Old Savoyard (About 1715) by Jean-Antoine Watteau (French, 1684-1721)The Art Institute of Chicago

'Using only two colors of chalk, Watteau depicted the Savoyard's shrewd, humorous face, his tattered clothing, and his bulky paraphernalia with remarkable precision, sensitivity, and humanity. Of the ten extant studies of Savoyards by Watteau, four appear to portray the same salty character seen here.'

Soldiers on the March (18th century) by Watteau, Jean-AntoineDulwich Picture Gallery

'A copy with variations, notably in the right foreground, of Watteau's Retour de Campagne, lost but known in Cochin's engraving of 1727.'

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