Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University

DAC Collection Artist Information

Jean-Antoine Watteau

French painter and draftsman

Brief biography, in most instances from the Union List of Artist Names® Online:
One of the originators of the Rococo style. The son of a roof tiler, Watteau showed a penchant for drawing and painting early in life. At eighteen he was apprenticed to a painter in his native town of Valenciennes. Soon after, with little money and few possessions, he made his way to Paris, where he made a living by copying the works of Titian and Paolo Veronese. There he entered the studio of Claude Audran III, the most renowned decorator in Paris; he also met Claude Gillot, a decorator of theatrical scenery. The theatrical qualities of Watteau's paintings and drawings recall artificial illumination, costumes, and painted backdrops, reflecting Gillot's influence. Watteau's subjects, often including figures from the commedia dell'arte, reflect his constant observation of the theater and the studies he often drew during performances. Watteau invented a new type of painting, the 'fête galante,' which comprise large scenes of well-to-do men and women enjoying themselves outdoors. This allowed him to showcase his talent for conveying the delights and enchantments of nature and led to repeated commissions from such connoisseurs as Pierre Crozat. For years after his death, his compositions remained widely known in Europe through the circulation of engravings and drawings.

Artist ID number in the Union List of Artist Names®: ULAN 500032644.
The ULAN link above leads to a cataloging authority record at the Getty Research Institute.

Objects related to Jean-Antoine Watteau:

Jean-Antoine Watteau Standing Man, Leaning on His Elbow (L’Homme Debout), ca. 1710 Etching and engraving on laid paper
Jean-Antoine Watteau Lady Walking Seen from Behind (La Femme marchand au fond), ca. 1710 Etching and engraving on laid paper
Benoit Audran II after Jean-Antoine Watteau The Peasant Dance (La Danse Paysanne), before 1755 Etching and engraving on laid paper
Timothy Cole after Jean-Antoine Watteau The Lover’s Delay, 1909 Wood engraving on tissue paper
Laurent Cars after Jean-Antoine Watteau Fêtes Vénitiennes, 1732 (or 1735) Etching and engraving on laid paper
Charles-Nicolas Cochin after Jean-Antoine Watteau Love in the French Theater (L’Amour au Théâtre François), 1734 Etching and engraving on laid paper
Charles-Nicolas Cochin after Jean-Antoine Watteau Love in the Italian Theater (L’Amour au Théâtre Italien), 1734 Etching and engraving
Jean-Étienne Liotard after Jean-Antoine Watteau The Sick Cat (Le Chat Malade}, 1731 Etching and drypoint with engraved inscriptions on laid paper
http://dac-collection.wesleyan.edu/art37976 is a persistent link to this page with no user-session information.

ULAN biographical content is displayed with permission of the Getty Research Institute. Some ULAN content in some DAC artist records has been lightly edited. Content from the Getty Research Institute is © 2019 The J. Paul Getty Trust. All rights reserved.

Featured Image Groups

Image from Rembrandt holdings
All Rembrandt Holdings

Image from Durer holdings
All Dürer with Images

Image from Faust

Image from Los Caprichos
Los Caprichos

Image from Metamorphoses