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INTRODUCTION Antoine Watteau

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.
Early Career and Training
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 (1673–1722), 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 (1636–1716), 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 "painter of
fêtes galantes." His reception piece, Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera (Musée du Louvre, Paris),
was finally submitted to the Academy in 1717. It depicted amorous couples on the mythical island
of Cythera, in various stages of their metaphoric "journey" of love.
Patrons and Protectors
With ingenuity and determination, Watteau continued his artistic education by copying works by
Rubens and sixteenth-century Italian artists in the collection of Pierre Crozat (1665–1740), a wealthy
banker and art collector.Italian Landscape with an Old Woman Holding a Spindle (after Domenico
Campagnola) (1972.118.237) is an example where Watteau carefully transcribed in red chalk the
rustic, hilly Italian countryside, adding to his repertoire of motifs that would inspire the backgrounds of
his imaginary landscapes. Around the same time Watteau was assiduously making copies from his
renowned collection of drawings, Crozat commissioned from him a series of large oval paintings
depicting the Four Seasons for his dining room in Paris. Standing Nude Man Holding
Bottles (1972.118.238) is one of a series of studies Watteau made for Autumn, now lost and known
only through an engraving (28.113[2]).Another of Watteau's dedicated patrons and friends was Jean
de Jullienne (1686–1766), who wrote an early biography of the artist and sponsored an
unprecedented campaign to record his drawings as etchings, contributing immeasurably to his fame
and influence as a draftsman. His collection included the Mezzetin (34.138), a bittersweet depiction of
the commedia dell'arte character Mezzetin. He is shown seated and playing music in a garden, his
pose evocative of the anguish of unrequited love. In a study for the head (37.165.107), Watteau
focused on the figure's plaintive expression. Jullienne also owned The French Comedians (49.7.54), a
late canvas likewise inspired by the popular commedia dell'arte theater troupes, although it is unclear
whether Watteau meant to portray a specific scene or specific actors.

for the most part. By the end of the old king's reign. owes a major debt to Watteau's enigmatic fêtes galantes and elegant trois crayons drawings. black.Watteau as a Draftsman Admiration for the drawings of Watteau has always been equal to that of his paintings. to François Boucher (1703–1770). and his closest follower. had used it before him). among others. but virtually every artist working in eighteenth-century France. with black chalk eventually added to the red. melding red. Shortly after.Watteau is most known for his grand themes and for being one of the best draftsmen of the 18th century. as was his preference for erotic genre subjects adapted from seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish sources. Spending his early years in Paris in the workshop of set designer Claude Gillot. his graphic oeuvre is made up of chalk studies of heads or figures. in combination with the tone of the paper reserve. His earliest studies are in red chalk alone.763). In Standing Nude Man Holding Bottles (1972.1). his name is always linked to the technique for his intuitive mastery of it. he added white chalk to the mix.7.118. Jean-Baptiste Joseph Pater (1695–1736) (49. . rich Baroque designs were giving way to lighter elements with more curves and natural patterns.1. Watteau gained his love for the theater. an homage to Rubens and the colorism of sixteenth-century Venetian painting recast in delicate pastels to suit the scale and aesthetic of Rococo décor. or three chalks (Rubens and La Fosse.Watteau's artistic content could be summarized by two major influences: his love for the theater and his fascination of the Rococo styling and design. These elements are obvious in the architectural designs of Nicolas Pineau. In contrast to prevailing practice. and white to great painterly and coloristic effect. for example. create a convincing rendering of flesh tones.52) was Watteau's only student. the three colors of chalk. A drawing of a Seated Woman (1975.12. Around 1715. he worked for interior designer Claude Audran III and picked up Rococo design influences. The delicacy and playfulness of Rococo designs is often seen as perfectly in tune with the excesses of Louis XV's regime. court life moved away from Versailles and this artistic change became well established. Watteau seems usually not to have made figure studies in preparation for predetermined compositions.Although he limited himself to chalk. was widely followed.Watteau's artistic legacy pervades French art up to the emergence of Neoclassicism. as in Savoyarde (1978. Louis XV's succession brought a change in the court artists and general artistic fashion. During the Régence. has captured all the spontaneity and grace of a young woman's natural movements. Although Watteau did not invent the technique of trois crayons. The sweetness of his palette. Antoine Watteau Artistic Context Top Rococo developed first in the decorative arts and interior design. to Jean Honoré Fragonard (1732– 1806).Watteau's attraction to Rococo's curving lines and decorative nature became central to his later work.238). As his career progressed the artist combined his love for the theater and his fascination of the Rococo styling and design and developed a truly unique style of painting with ornate elegance that gained him critical attention. but apparently filled sketchbooks with incisive renderings of figures drawn from life. specifically for the Italian Commedia dell'Arte and its innumerable characters. from François Lemoyne (1688–1737). which he would later mine for his painted compositions. there is a clear evolution in the technique of Watteau's drawings. first in the royal palace and then throughout French high society. He drew few compositional studies. yet does not seem to have been used in a painted composition.

" He had yet to conquer showing figures in differing depths and when it came to form.Watteau copied works by Rubens and sixteenth-century Italian artists in the collection of Pierre Crozat (a wealthy banker and art collector). Watteau's drawing style has made him one of the most brilliant and innovative draftsmen of the eighteenth century. They accused Watteau of being "deficient in the art of composition. he did not see in flowing curves but in tight. He displayed a fascinating talent with the "trois-crayons" or "threechalk"technique. such as the S curve. that Watteau was exposed to more natural and organic reflections. Like Rubens.Despite this. Claude Gillot & Claude Audran III: In this epicenter for creativity and free thinking. interior design and pottery. Watteau is probably mostly praised for his bright palette. or shell like shape.Watteau's palette and subject matter somewhat overshadowed his technique and this led to critics challenging his stylistic ability.Watteau wholeheartedly embraced the characters of the Italian theater and Gillot's influence would play a major role in his art of makebelieve and illusions.After seeing this he began to draw with ornate elegance and in the truest style of Rococo. humans at one with nature. the perspective of Watteau's paintings is relatively simple. Jean-Antoine Watteau drew inspiration from many sources. Watteau would also sketch his works before creating the final piece as well as following the great master's utilization for the same materials such as various crayons and chalks. Watteau incorporated this idea into his airy brushstrokes. Nature: Watteau drew inspiration mainly from nature and his time spent in the Luxembourg gardens. with nature as their backdrop. Audran also introduced Watteau to Peter Paul Ruben's series painted for Queen Marie de Medici . Watteau ignored society's previous expectations of the turgid life and embraced the lofty notion of people enjoying the freedom of their own lives and becoming one with nature. he depicts actual characters on a real stage. he stunned critics of the day. a theme that would last throughout his career. and the Rococo style from Audran. He revived colors previously seen in 16th century Venetian paintings and together with his idealized.Antoine Watteau Style and Technique Watteau was the innovative artist who extended Rococo beyond architecture. straight lines. his viewpoint is at eye level for the viewer. The notable elements that make Watteau's style unique are the combination of his lofty content and his brightly colored landscapes. a set designer for the theater as well as interior decorator Claude Audran III.Furthermore. . interior design and sculpture and onto the canvas. In others. with their rich coloristic effects of painting. He was the first to bring such a style of elegance to the canvas. It had been only previously seen in architecture. Besides the theme of his work. His greatest. which is evident in his scenic landscapes. the aristocrats of his day reenact scenes from the comedies. flirty themes and aesthetics of Rococo décor. His drawings. Antoine Watteau Who or What Influenced Throughout his lifetime.In a similar fashion. Watteau met and worked with Claude Gillot.a collection that changed Watteau's style as he evolved into his more formal period. all relative in size to another.In some of his paintings. and perhaps most influential period was that spent in Paris. He paints his figures close to true to life with proportionate bodies. grace the walls of the most prestigious art museums today. He drew the theme of his work from Gillot.It was at Audran's workshop.

by Rosalba Carriera. 1718/19 L'Enseigne de Gersaint. 1721 (aged 36) Nogent-sur-Marne. 1684 Valenciennes. Born Jean-Antoine Watteau October 10.Watteau in the last year of his life. 1721. 1720/21 Movement Rococo . France Died July 18.[1]France Nationality French Known for Painting and architecture Notable work(s) Embarkation for Cythera.


The artist was well trained in the Classics from his time spent in his father's school in Plympton. philosophy. chiaroscuro and coloring technicalities. South and East. he endeavored to discover new dimensions to the art of painting which was his passion until the end of his career and life. Even after his mild stroke and the deterioration of the sight in his left eye. Reynolds' worked every hour he could.The Rococo era was characterized by hedonistic freedom and a pursuit of all things aesthetically pleasurable.During the Rococo era portraiture was extremely across the world but particularly in Great Britain where pioneers of this style include William Hogarth. literature. It was through this text that Reynolds' passion for painting was ignited and his admiration for Raphael in particular was to become one of his biggest influences.However.' had been inspirational to Reynolds as a child and from it he learned the vigor of painting and the teachings of Raphael and the Great Masters. Like many artists. including Sundays. Such knowledge impacted on his artistic career for the rest of his life. Hudson.Sir Joshua Reynolds completed over 3000 works of art.Introduction reynold Born in Devon. not only in British painting. The Palace of Versailles was the ideal in decadent Rococo art and architecture with its ornate decoration and grandeur. Devon and he learned of the Italian masters under his mentor. Reynolds was able to serve the needs of this growing middle class with his flattering and elegant portraiture style.With an obvious artistic talent. to a strict diciplinarian father. his biggest inspiration came from his time spent in Italy where he noted all the great masters and learned about their compositional. Best known for his elaborate portraits of England's high society. Reynolds is credited with inventing the concept of the celebrity.Reynolds helped to define different concepts. His popularity was due to his ability to raise the figureheads of the day to a mythological level. including a few preliminary sketches which were very rare as he wasn't a keen draughtsman. from morning to night.The Rococo style soon caught on in England as the country had a huge rise in middle class and wealthy merchant businessmen due to its advances and control over new colonies in the West. The Rococo era originated from the French decorative style Racaille meaning 'decorative shell and rock work'. particularly of the London elite. among other things. He was exposed to the works of van Dyck while he was studying in London. England.His social circles became the same as those of whom he painted and the artist was eventually knighted and became the official court painter to George III. Not merely a painter. but across the Western world. Joshua Reynolds Biography Early Years: Joshua Reynolds was born 16 July 1723 in Devon. Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. Reynolds moved to London to attend art school and he also worked under successful artist Thomas Hudson. and grew up under the strict rule of his father. he traveled to Italy during his early years to absorb the lessons of the great masters and brought back with him to England a refined artistic sensibility that set him apart from most other artists. He was a renowned intellectual who socialized in the elite social circles of London and received most recognition for his portraits. Joshua Reynolds Artistic Context Reynolds conducted his successful career during the height of the English Rococo. Joshua Reynolds enjoyed a relatively smooth rise to success throughout his life as he became England's premiere Rococo painter. Reynolds also started a literature club and lectured about art. Thus he has been dubbed the father of British painting. At the age of 27 Reynolds embarked on a pilgrimage to Italy to study the works of the great masters foe himself . England.Reynolds fused the styles of the Italian Renaissance and the fashions of his time to forge a new and extravagant painting style that took Europe by storm. The book Richardson's Theory of Painting. It primarily stemmed from the architecture and furniture style that was popular amongst the bourgeois and new rising wealthy class in France who wanted works that reinforced their wealth and pleasure in all their beauty and splendor. which flattered the subject.

and broad in nature. white. where his body was cremated and a statue was erected to commemorate him.He had lived to become one of the most recognized artists. Methods Utilized: Reynolds used a primary color such a red as the main force in his work. He does not completely blend his brush work in his paintings. It was most important to get the mixture on the palette as close to the sitter's real complexion as possible. He then would include reds all over the work to help redirect the eye to the primary color to emphasize the sitter's flesh tones. Advanced Years: Reynolds continued as president of the Royal Academy until the end of his life but he stopped painting because of poor eyesight in 1789 and died three years later aged 68. so the eye could follow a harmony in the works that created a natural. Reynolds and other artists decided to form the Royal Academy to define new aspects in British art. Reynolds became president of the Royal Academy of Art in 1768 and was knighted the following year. Reynolds used black. Brush Work: Reynolds' brush work is smooth and not heavily applied to the canvas. blue-black. not to mention the mayor of Plympton in 1773. By layering the wet. soluble colors. He always used bold colors to create unity in his works instead of softer tones. hard. three-dimensional effect. orpiment. ultramarine. academics. Reynolds had become so successful that he was able to purchase a house in the plush London neighborhood of Leicester Fields. which makes them very clear and bold. Joshua Reynolds Style and Technique Defining Characteristics: Color Palette: For flesh tones. His strokes are long.Reynolds felt that blatantly mixing the colors would affect the natural blending so he opted to layer the colors while still fresh and wet. lake. the paints were allowed to have a fresh. Paul's Cathedral. He later became official court painter to King George III. and literary contributors of the 18th century. Composition. He created stark shadows where necessary and bold highlighting to emphasize the primary color.Middle Years: In 1753. clean appearance. . and varnish. Tone and Lighting: Reynolds ensured that the positioning of the core lighting was always upon the main figure and his background landscapes were also accentuated. Reynolds specialized in historical works denoting the modern-day gentry as Classical subjects.At the height of his popularity in England and beyond. By 1760. This new approach of depicting the elite subject as Gods and Goddess of mythical origin proved beneficial for Reynolds as he became immensely popular while many orders came streaming in from patrons. carmine. It was one of the first things Reynolds did concerning the color scheme after the initial sketch. Reynolds' funeral was held at St. yellow ochre.

Jacobo Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese. Reynolds started implementing a richer color palette as Rubens had done and used the various color schemes to accentuate the sitter and recreated a focus by using various highlights with chiaroscuro. as he too experimented with various methods of creating new ways of making and mixing paints in order to alter effects upon the canvas. Peter Paul Rubens: Reynolds had made the trip to Antwerp in the late 1700s and there he studied the works of Rubens in detail. He relied heavily on chiaroscuro techniques from artists such as Rembrandt and Caravaggio and would analyze the different lighting approaches to create mood and composition. how art had progressed upon those lines.W. like William Blake. Beloved by critics and the elite of England alike. as well as the new concepts of style and painting technicalities that helped bring new light into the realm of art. the English artists who followed were divided into two distinct camps as to the merit of his work. Raphael: Reynolds was first exposed to the works of Raphael when he was just 10 years old when reading Jonathan Richardson's Theory of Painting. By then. applauded his painterly techniques. he was already fascinated by the works of the great Italian master and would try out the various new aspects in his early portraits. He noted the great master's approach to rich coloring and ability to define spatial elements. was elected president of the Royal Society of the Arts. . were offended by his strict viewpoints. M. focusing on their compositional and aesthetic qualities pertaining to culture and society's perception to the 'natural' in art.Joshua Reynolds Who or What Influenced Anthony van Dyck: Van Dyck's work was the earliest influence in Reynolds' painting and his earliest family portrait took on the same elegant style and compositional techniques that van Dyck had used. Reynolds used the décor and various props to help accentuate the presence of the sitter and took into account various poses to help express their inner character. Even in his portraits post-Italy. Reynolds drew a lot from the Baroque era and its aesthetics. Reynolds went on to study all the great masters from the Venetian school of the 16th century. The Venetian and Italian school of Antiquity of the 16th century: Reynolds was fascinated with the various coloring and compositional methods that derived from the Venetian schools and their approach to the Classical figures. Titian.After returning from Antwerp.The most noted artists of this period who inspired Reynolds were Michelangelo. He divided the art schools into the dominating art forces: the Italian Baroque and Dutch Baroque (also known as Flanders Baroque). These two schools impressed him the most. He noted the various methodologies in flesh tones that could be highlighted through shading and color. Joshua Reynolds Critical Reception During Life: Reynolds maintained a high level of respect during his lifetime which was never questioned. He noted the various religious and cultural influences. Turner. (who were in reality one and the same). While some. others. On his trip to Italy. and how the two societies had redefined beauty. such as J. Reynolds went on to found the Society of Artists. and gave a series of successful lectures that were taken as quite perceptive for their time. Baroque masters: Reynolds has made several references to the various schools of art that emerged in the century preceding his. After death: After Reynolds' death. Reynolds was finally allowed to see and experience being educated in the style that Raphael had once taught.

[3] The term may also be a combination of the Italian word "barocco" (an irregularly shaped pearl. and gold. The interior decoration of Rococo rooms was designed as a total work of art with elegant and ornate furniture. less commonly roccoco. It developed in the early 18th century in Paris. Unlike the political Baroque. and wall paintings. possibly the source of the word "baroque") and the French "rocaille" (a popular form of garden or interior ornamentation using shells and pebbles) and may describe the refined and fanciful style that became fashionable in parts of Europe in the 18th century. and teasing dialogue full of elusive and camouflaging language and gestures. France as a reaction against the grandeur.[4] Owing to Rococo love of shell-like curves and focus on decorative arts.[1] Rococo artists and architects used a more jocular. The book The Rococo states that no other culture "has produced a wittier. The word is seen as a combination of the French rocaille (stone) and coquilles (shell). The Rococo was also important in theatre. due to reliance on these objects as decorative motifs. refined feelings and subtle criticism" than Rococo theatre. is an 18thcentury artistic movement and style. While there is still some debate about the historical significance of the style to art in general. architecture.[2]By the end of the 18th century. more elegant.Rococo period Rococo (/rəˈkoʊkoʊ/ or /roʊkəˈkoʊ/). curves. and graceful approach to the Baroque. reliefs.[5][6] especially when compared to neoclassicism. the Rococo had playful and witty themes. and strict regulations of the Baroque. style and design associated with Louis XV's reign and the beginning of that of Louis XVI". sculpture. small sculptures. Rococo was largely replaced by the Neoclassic style. the term has been accepted by art historians. it was a colloquialism meaning "old-fashioned". interior design. In 1835 the Dictionary of the French Academy stated that the word Rococo "usually covers the kind of ornament. some critics used the term to derogatively imply that the style was frivolous or merely modish. ornamental mirrors. especially that of France. decoration. Their style was ornate and used light colours. especially of the Palace of Versailles. despite this. Rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in the development of European art. or "Late Baroque". It includes therefore. The style received harsh criticism and was seen by some to be superficial and of poor taste. and tapestry complementing architecture. florid. affecting many aspects of the arts including painting. all types of art from around the middle of the 18th century in France. asymmetrical designs. literature. When the term was first used in English in about 1836. symmetry. it has been praised for its aesthetic qualities. .[5] and since the mid-19th century. music. and theatre.

Sir Joshua Reynolds Self-portrait Born Joshua Reynolds 16 July 1723 Plympton Died 23 February 1792 (aged 68) London Nationality English Known for Painter .