Jean-Antoine Watteau

Jean-Antoine Watteau, “Pierrot, dit Autrefois Gilles”, Oil on Canvas, 1718-1719, Musée du Louvre

Pierrot is  one of the most famous characters in Italian comedy. The theme of this painting could come from the experience of Watteau as a student of Claude Gillot, who painted among others many sets of theater. The current explanation is that the large format of the painting and its painting would have originated from an order intended to be the sign of the coffee of the former actor Belloni.

The decentering of the main character, considered a daring for the time, is in fact not the initial composition of the painting. Observations revealed ancient traces of a frame that almost centered Pierrot’s figure, showing that the canvas was subsequetly cut. His observation in grazing light highlights ancient traces of a frame that was almost in the center of Pierrot’s figure, the painting having subsequently been cut on one side.

Jean-Antoine Watteau was a French painter whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in color and movement, as seen in the tradition of Rubens and Correggio. He revitalized the waning Baroque style, shifting it to the less severe, more naturalistic, less formal classical Rococo. He is credited with inventing the genre of “fetes galantes”, scenes of bucolic and idyllic charm, with a theatrical air. Some of his best know works were drawn from the world of Italian comedy and ballet.

Sickly and physically frail since childhood, Watteau died at the estate of his patron in 1721 from tuberculosis at the eary age of thirty six. His influence on the arts, including costume, music, and decorative arts, was more extensive than that of any other 18th cetury artist.

Leave a Reply