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Chardin, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (zhäN-bätēst´-sēmāôN´ shärdăN´), 1699–1779, French painter. He was a major figure of 18th-century painting. While the Académie royale still advocated history painting as the noblest form of art, Chardin painted still lifes and domestic interiors. His ability to evoke textures was extraordinary, as were his muted tones, delicate touch, and unusually abstract compositional skill. His particular ability to render still-life forms naturalistically and simple genre scenes without sentimentality ensured his reputation. A number of modern schools of painting are indebted to the abstract nature of Chardin's compositions. The Louvre has many of his oils and pastel portraits, including Benediction and Return from Market. Blowing Bubbles and a portrait of Mme Chardin are at the Metropolitan Museum. Other paintings are in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

See biography by P. Consibee (1985); studies by H. E. A. Furst (1907), G. Wildenstein (1963, repr. 1969), G. Weisberg and W. S. Talbot (1979), and P. Rosenberg (2000).

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