Watteau Paper

785 words - 4 pages

Antoine Watteau was a French painter from the late 17th and early 18th century. He was a very skilled and innovative painter and was a pioneer in the new Rocco style of art. Despite objections from his father who wanted him to join the family trade of carpentry and tiling Watteau became a well respected painter (and dabbled some in architecture throughout his life). Despite only living to the age of 39 and lacking contemporary popularity, Wateau led an interesting life and greatly influenced the development of French art.
Watteau was born in 1684 in the town of Valenciennes, France. The city had belonged to the Spanish Netherlands in the decade leading up to the birth of Watteau. ...view middle of the document...

All of this took a toll on the artist, his portraits show that he was an unattractive man and was often depicted looking unkempt and disorderly. Evidence from the time suggests Watteau was a sad and fearful man. He suffered from being somewhat socially awkward showing reclusive tendencies and preferring to be left alone. There is no record of him ever marrying.
Upon arriving in Paris, Watteau became a student of the celebrated artist Gilliot. He gained his appreciation for theater and ordinary daily life in this time. These themes would be predominantly featured in his works throughout his career. He would then study under Claude Audran, the curator of the art at Luxembourg Palace. His teacher’s position exposed him to many different people and styles in the art world. In 1709, at the age of 25 he submitted one of his works to the Academy as his application for the Prix de Rome, a prestigious award which allowed the winner a trip to study art in Rome. He was not named the winner of the contest but three years later he reapplied winning the contest and being accepted as a member of the Academy.
Watteau suffered from tuberculoses and did not expect to live a long life. As a result he did...

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