Mini Biography: Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin

Birth: November 2, 1699
Death: December 6, 1779
Nationality: French
Movement: Rococo time period, but French Provincial Realism in practice (yes, I totally made French Provincial Realism and to see why check out A Brief History of Rococo.)
The son of a Parisian carpenter (his father is sometimes referred to as a cabinet maker or a billiards table maker) Chardin got his start painting signs. Trained by 2 historical painters he instead painted still lifes and domestic scenes and, when his eyesight began to fail, he switched mediums and began executing pastel portraits. Chardin painted for over 50 years but he only produced about 4 paintings a year. Chardin’s artwork is in museums throughout the world but the Louvre has the largest collection of his work and it was at the Louvre that Henri Matisse copied 4 of his paintings. He also influenced Giorgio Morandi, Lucian Freud, and Georges Braque to name just a few. Chardin lived his whole life in Paris and rarely left the city and although he married twice (his first wife died) and had three children – none survived him.
Some of his notable work include: The Copper Cistern (1735), The Young Schoolmistress pictured below, and Self-Portrait (1771)
probably 1735-6
Chardin, Jean Baptiste Simeon. The Young Schoolmistress (1736), National Gallery, London.
For more on Chardin or to see more artwork visit:
National Gallery
Louvre
The J. Paul Getty Museum

 

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