Jean-Antoine Watteau [1684-1721]

Self Portrait
French painter of the Rococo era

Jean-Antoine Watteau

was born,
October 10, 1684
in the Flemish town of Valenciennes which had recently passed from the Spanish Netherlands to France.

Watteau was a French painter whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in colour and movement, as seen in the tradition of Correggio and Rubens. He revitalized the waning Baroque style, shifting it to the less severe, more naturalistic, less formally classical, Rococo. Watteau is credited with inventing the genre of fêtes galantes, scenes of bucolic and idyllic charm, suffused with a theatrical air. Some of his best known subjects were drawn from the world of Italian comedy and ballet.

He was a prolific draftsman. His drawings, typically executed in trois crayons technique, were collected and admired even by those, such as count de Caylus or Gersaint, who found fault with his paintings. You may count me in too in those admirers!

So here’s a glimpse of his work [no quotes…]
Marriage Contract and Country Dancing

La Boudeuse
The Italian Comedians
The Love Song ©The National Gallery, London
The Robber of the Sparrow’s Nest
The French Comedians
Actors of the Comédie-Française
Fêtes Vénitiennes
Les Plaisirs du Bal
Pilgrimage to Cythera
Pleasures of Love
Pierrot Content
The Embarkation for Cythera
L’Enseigne de Gersaint
L’Amante inquiète
A couple embracing while a figure dressed as Mezzetin tunes a guitar
The Feast (or Festival) of Love
La Partie carrée
The Love Lesson
The Dreamer (La Rêveuse)
Ceres (Summer)


click on the drawings to see in full view

Jean-Philippe Rameau by Jacques Aved

I have chosen music by the French composer

Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764)

one of the most important French composers

and music theorists of the 18th century.

Les Indes Galantes

Suite (excerpt)

Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century,
Frans Brüggen – conductor

For more information on Watteau:



Be Safe

29 replies »

  1. You put so much work into bringing these artists to us, I feel the need to comment! I know little about the Rococo style. His work seems soft and warm and very romantic, passionate really. The operatic influence is obvious. His sketches of various heads and hands are wonderful. Thank you, once again!

    • Oh, Mary Jo, thank you! It wasn’t really planned. My first one was Van Gogh when I found out it was his birthday the day I posted. That’s when I decided to create a calendar of artists (Oannes with his musician calendar had something to do with it too!) It’s a beautiful journey to me diving into artists work and I’m happy sharing it! Even happier when friends share this joy too! Watteau’ drawings are so beautiful! Many hugs!

  2. Very nice. This one esp. spoke to me

    The nobility and people ‘of means’ must have had a pretty sweet life back then. At least, that’s how it appears. Maybe they too suffered from ‘depression’ and ‘alienation’ like so many today. Certainly broken hearts and longing…

    As for the peasants, the vast majority, I doubt they’d be as enthusiastic if they even had had a chance to view ‘high art.’

    Just some thoughts while looking this over. Great collection and pres. 🙂👸🌟

  3. Interesting. Thanks for the collection of paintings. Although well done, not a style that grabs my attention. Then again, just another reason why there are so many styles! 🙂

    • You are very welcome! Thank You!
      He is considered a master painter and I appreciate his work [obviously] however I feel closer to his drawings than his paintings. So I understand! 😉

  4. I adore this artists work. I especially enjoy his chalk pastel studies and works. I want to do the Art Gowns Models in that style/technique.
    I have the pastels, the paper, the smudge sticks, but all I’ve ever made is a mess.
    Nonetheless, I’ll give it a go again!
    The video was not available here, but I was listening to Camille Saint-Saëns on Oannes,while looking at this fabulous art!

    Sending much love!

  5. I enjoyed the music and both the paintings & drawings.
    I can see why the drawings appeal: ‘Three Studies of a Woman’s Head and a Study of Hands’ along with ‘Study of a Woman’s Head and Hands’ are my particular favourites.

    • Oh, happy to hear that! I’ve always believed that drawings and sketches reveal the talent and even if someone didn’t know that he is considered a master, they would see it in his drawings! May sound naive of me but I enjoy them more than his paintings! 🤭

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