See his complete paintings (introd. by J. Sunderland and notes by E. Camesasca, 1971); studies by A. Brookner (1967), R. Huygne (1970), K. T. Parker (1931, repr. 1970), and M. Cormack (1971); Y. Zolotov, Antoine Watteau: Paintings and Drawings from Soviet Museums (1985).
(born Oct. 10, 1684, Valenciennes, France—died July 18, 1721, Nogent-sur-Marne) French painter. Son of a roof tiler in Valenciennes, he was apprenticed to a local artist. At 18 he moved to Paris, where he worked for a series of painters; one of them was a theatrical scenery painter, and much of Watteau's work consequently embraced the artifice of the theatre, particularly the commedia dell'arte and the ballet. His works typified the lyrically charming and graceful Rococo style. The greatest, his Pilgrimage to the Island of Cythera, depicts pilgrims setting out for (or departing from) the mythic island of love and was his presentation piece when he was inducted into the academy in 1717. The academicians, unable to fit him into any of the recognized categories, welcomed him as a painter of fêtes galantes (“elegant festivities”), an important new genre to which countless later Rococo pictures belong.
Learn more about Watteau, (Jean-) Antoine with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Genius of invention: the 18th-century impresario and collector Jean de Jullienne's complex relationship with Watteau is explored in a new exhibition at the Wallace Collection in London.(FEATURE: JEAN DE JULLIENNE)
Mar 01, 2011; Antoine Watteau (c. 1684-1721) has always been regarded as the most important French painter of the early 18th century....