Musée No:792.041Regular price £25.00
Artist: Jean-Siméon Chardin
Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699 –1779) was an 18th-century French painter. He is considered a master of still life, and is also noted for his genre paintings which depict kitchen maids, children, and domestic activities. Carefully balanced composition, soft diffusion of light characterize his work. Chardin was born in Paris, the son of a cabinetmaker, and he rarely left the city. He lived on the Left Bank in Paris until 1757, when Louis XV granted him a studio and living quarters in the Louvre. Starting in 1737, he exhibited regularly at the Salon. and over the next fifty years he was counsellor, treasurer, and secretary and in charge of overseeing the installation of Salon exhibitions in 1761. Louis XV granted him a pension of 500 livres in 1752. By 1770 Chardin was the ‘First Painter to the King’, (Premier peintre du roi), and his pension of 1,400 livres was the highest in the Academy.
Chardin worked very slowly and painted only slightly more than 200 pictures (about four a year) in total. His work was unlike the Rococo painting that dominated French art in the 18th century. At a time when history painting was considered the supreme classification for public art, Chardin's subjects were viewed as minor categories. Largely self-taught, he was influenced by the realism and subject matter of the 17th-century Dutch masters. He was popular for paintings of animals and fruit, but by the 1730s he introduced kitchen utensils into his work. Soon he introduced figures to these day-to-day scenes which deal with simple, everyday activities. Nowadays they serve as a fabulous source of documentary information about this level of French society. Chardin's influence on the art including of the modern day is wide-ranging : Édouard Manet's, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse ,Chaim Soutine, Georges Braque, and later Lucian Freud, to name but a few.
Chardin said about painting, "Who said one paints with colours? One employs colours, but one paints with feeling."