Skip to main content
Select Source:

Watteau, Jean-Antoine

Jean-Antoine Watteau (wätō´, Fr. zhäN´-äNtwäN´ vätō´), 1684–1721, French painter of Flemish descent, b. Valenciennes. Until 1704 poverty forced him to work in the shops of mediocre artists, where he produced genre and devotional subjects. In 1704–8 he studied in the studio of Claude Gillot, an adept painter of scenes of theatrical life, which later became the subject of some of Watteau's finest paintings, such as Love in the Italian Theatre and Love in the French Theatre (both: Berlin). In 1708–9 Watteau worked with the decorator Claude Audran. Watteau attracted the attention of eminent patrons in his last years, including the comte de Caylus, his biographer, and in 1717 he was made a full member of the Académie royale. The Embarkation for Cythera (1717; Louvre) is characteristic of his art; it is a delicate, courtly fantasy, represented in warm and shimmering pastel tones that place him among the great colorists of all time. A lyric, Giorgionesque quality pervades his airy, gay, and sensuous scenes, which have a poignancy that none of his followers attained. Out of the most fleeting aspects of life he created an enduring and individual art. His exquisite paintings influenced fashion and garden design in the 18th cent. Other outstanding works include Gilles (Louvre), Perspective (Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston), Mezzetin (Metropolitan Mus.), and Gersaint's Shop Sign (1719; Berlin). Watteau was also a superb draftsman. Many of his exquisite drawings are known only from engravings.

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).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Watteau, Jean-Antoine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Watteau, Jean-Antoine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/watteau-jean-antoine

"Watteau, Jean-Antoine." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/watteau-jean-antoine

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Watteau, Jean-Antoine

Watteau, Jean-Antoine (1684–1721) French painter. Watteau's early work was influenced by the Flemish genre painter David Teniers (1610–90), as seen in his early painting La Marmotte. He is best known for his fêtes galantes, notably his masterpiece Departure for the Islands of Cythera (1717), which is an early example of rococo.

http://www.hermitagemuseum.org

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Watteau, Jean-Antoine." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Apr. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Watteau, Jean-Antoine." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/watteau-jean-antoine

"Watteau, Jean-Antoine." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/watteau-jean-antoine

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.