Artists Magazine

A Lyric Sensibility

Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721) was the greatest French artist of his time and the immediate precursor of the Rococo movement that he inspired. He excelled at the genre he created, in which figures posture elegantly in Arcadian settings. These were paintings as light as a madeleine, frivolous except for two elements: Watteau endowed the subjects with an aching wistfulness, and he

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