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WATT Antoine

( Artist)

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Biography WATT Antoine
In 1702 in Paris from the small town of Valenciennes Flanders came 18-year-old boy, amateur painter Antoine Watteau.

Life in the capital, barely alive, all waiting for the end of the long reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King, who sat on the throne for 60 years. Once he said: 'The State - it's me', and his words became prophetic. King was the sole authority in the social, spiritual and even private life, and as it leaves the physical and spiritual forces, plunging the entire country into hibernation. 'Gone magnificent Versailles Festivals, . replaced young arrogance, . carelessness and a sense of majestic beauty, . gave birth to Versailles, . came senile fatigue, . bigotry, . slavishly, . viciousness and even decline of taste ', . - So wrote about this time his expert Alexander Benois,

In the artistic life of France in those years almost never find big names. King survived all, . who glorified the era, . - Great comedy writer Moliere, . creators of the classic tragedy of Racine and Corneille, . wise fabulist La Fontaine, . creator Versailles Le Nц╢tre, . sublime and mighty Poussin, . the first court painter Lebrun, . founded in 1648 by the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture ..,
. At the academy met leaders who saw only his duty to worship the covenants Lebrun, useful for the XVII century, but obsolete for XVIII. Official academic dogma stated that the classic form above nature, and require repair and decoration of the world. Several decades later, the French culture explodes fireworks of brilliant achievements, in her shining names of Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Chardin, Fragonard, but it needs is a push, which will lead the country out of torpor. Watteau did not wait for a push, he made the breakthrough, opening the way for a new generation of artists.

On the life of Watteau, we know very little about the development of his creativity is difficult to judge because he did not set a date for his paintings. The hard work has allowed researchers to establish a few facts: baptized 10 ca-ber 1684, in 1717 became an academician in 1719 went to London and a year later he returned, he lived on earth only 37 years ...

According to eyewitnesses, in the early Paris years Watteau chore for market art dealer - copy obrazki St. Nicholas until he fell from an apprentice to a famous master Claude Gillet. He entered the world of Watteau's theater, which always stirred the heart of the artist and identified almost all the most important in his work.

In the theater, then came a sharp principled struggle between the official art and fun element of area. Chief French theater 'Comedie Francaise', founded by Louis XIV in 1680, remained the guardian of classical traditions. Beside him there was an ancient living art theater dell'arte, or comedy masks. Here, the actors played no role, . and characters, . 'masks' - joker-hooligan Harlequin, . sad loser Piero, . funny old Pantalone, . braggart Captain, . - Independently deciding on a course of action, . should behave like characters in a given situation, . improvising, . inventing sally, . expressive gestures, . which hinted to the public on current events and mores,
. What unites the art of Antoine Watteau with theater delarte?

A. Watteau. 'Giles'. 1719 - 1720

First, he, like the comedy of masks, no traditional plot. The fact that Watt did not like such stories, testimonies and comments of contemporaries, and the story of his competitive academic work. In the official report of 30 June 1712 stipulated that the subject sets the president of the academy, but the phrase is crossed out and the top is added: 'The choice of the plot is left to the discretion of the competitor! "

. In Parisian theaters at that time with success was Dankura comedy 'Three cousins' tangled with intrigue, love affairs and comic situations
. It refers to the island Tsitera - place of pilgrimage for lovers. From this pushes Watteau and paints a picture 'Departure to the island Tsiteru' (1717).

In the golden haze on the bank of overgrown trees procession of pilgrims descend to the ship. All mysterious and vague, all over the hint and innuendo. Unbalanced, . unstable composition, . looking to the sparkling gave, . fluttering lightness of her movements, . enhanced manner of writing, . flowing strokes, . flashes of light, . iridescent colors into each other, . all serve one purpose - to convey a rich range of feelings and sentiments of love: certainty and doubt, . hope and anxiety, . joy and sorrow, . expectations and disappointments,

A. Watteau. 'Departure to the island Tsiteru'. 1717.

One of the main merits of Watteau that he brought the French art of the inexhaustible richness of human experience, individual, deeply personal perception of the world

. Should be, . Academicians do not see in the picture of Watteau's friend's story, . it does not fit into the confines of traditional genres, and received the official name of the 'gallant celebration', . that had a master, . adopted in the number of academicians, . far better service,
. In the following generations of connoisseurs and art lovers had the unfair treatment of him as the author of charming trifles, . and strict moralist Diderot even stated, . that would have given ten watt one Teniers, . respectable Fleming, . singer peaceful rural life,

A. Watteau. 'Savoyard'. 1715-1716

Another 'theatrical' feature Watteau painting - the conventional characters masks. From the picture in picture wander detachment flower girl, a young guitarist, thoughtful lover, receding into the distance a couple, the gentleman who helps a lady get up from the ground ... Watteau left an enormous legacy graphics - full-scale sketches, landscapes, many shapes - singly and in groups, face, hands, parts, written sanguine, charcoal, chalk, but among them there is no outline of the entire composition. The researchers concluded that the artist was to the canvas as a mosaic, using the previously made drawings. However, this method can not be called mechanical, because of the 'pieces', with amazing artistic flair and flavor fused fantasy, there is always something unexpected, whole and harmonious in the poetic conception.

A. Watteau. 'The sign Zhersena'. 1720

We Watteau truly ebullient fantasy. He dresses his characters in strange clothes, the clothes reminiscent of the heroes of his favorite Rubens, masquerade or theatrical costumes, then completely invented by the artist. He puts them in a quaint parks, did not feel like a regular symmetric ensembles suburbs of Paris, introduces the landscapes long forgotten, or never existed architectural forms.

The artist by his art creates a new world, far from the ugly reality - he is full of purity and light, poetry and love, joy and sadness. To see pictures of Watteau, do not be an expert on mythology, symbols and allegories, it is only necessary to be able to feel deeply, to empathize. They require a special con-tact with the audience and is easy to establish this contact, which can be considered another feature of creativity Watteau, born theater.

In early works, he still creates a sense of presence - the second complex plans, free composition, when groups of characters and individual figures diverge in hand, rushing into the distance, pushing the viewer's eye in the right direction. Thus, in the charming picture of the Hermitage 'Embarrassing proposal', which Watteau, many times and finishing copying, seeking maximum expressiveness, plastic design theme begins with the extreme left of the figure sitting boy. We wonder where he looks, and followed his gaze, we see two slopes to each other girls. Outlines of their shapes echoing the wind bent the tree, . diagonal light clouds, . and this cycle leads us to the central group, . where graceful cavalier gesture is trying to soften the awkward sentence, . and the lady listened to him with curiosity and apprehension,

Over time, songs Watteau increasingly subject to the laws of theatrical scene. He uses - consciously or intuitively, . We do not know and never find out - reception, . which would later be called scientists term 'ostranenie', . referring to the destruction of illusions, . when, . example, . viewers do not try to convince the reality of what is happening on the stage, . and, . opposite, . emphasize the theatricality, . putting conditional scenery characters, . resorting to deliberate sign plastic, . laying of the plot of the complex double meaning,
. Watteau began openly put their characters in 'stage' space, . increasingly outlines parallel to the bottom edge of the canvas sort of function of the proscenium, . theatrical spotlight, . closes on the side 'wings' for landscape or architectural forms, . gives the background poetic scenery,

What effect he achieves, it is easy to understand, looking at one of the masterpieces of the artist, Louvre's painting 'Gilles' (1717-1719), known in France as a sad loser Pie-ro. Blatant arbitrariness surrounding attracts the viewer's attention to a stationary white figure with hands down limply and rigid face a hundred times reinforcing overwhelmed by Gilles feelings hidden beneath the impenetrable mask. With extraordinary power Watteau expressed in this strange picture of the spirit of his time, . rather, . stagnation, . when the grand act classical era were behind, . Magnificent Age of Enlightenment - far ahead of, . leaving only a feeling of emptiness and a desire to ignite a spark of hope,
. No stormy scene does not give such a range of human emotions ...

By artistic discoveries of Antoine Watteau need to add one more - flavor. The Academy put on the first drawing, and artists dutifully followed this rule. Fortunately for us, Watteau failed academic school. Living at one time a keeper of the Luxembourg Palace artist Claude Odran, . He met with paintings by Rubens in a series, . devoted to the history of the French queen Marie de Medici, . later thoroughly studied the collections of major collector and patron of Pierre Crozat, . in which there were many works of the great Venetian XVI century, . and tried to combine them to achieve,
. Researcher of the French art of XVIII century EF Kozhina notices, . that 'none of the work written by contemporaries of Watteau not stand next to his pictures: next to this light, . shimmering painting any other fabric seems a loud and colorful, . or sluggish and dull ',

One of the first biography of the artist, a member of the Royal Academy of the Comte de Caylus, was firmly convinced that Watteau simply does not wash hands. In fact, the color of the heroine's dress fabric with a playful title 'Do you want to conquer the beauties? ..' impossible to describe - it appears yellow, but poured all shades of lemon, green, pale pink. Paints Watteau flicker, into one another, emit light - soft rays shine incorrect figures, streamed gleaming foliage of trees, the whole atmosphere is filled with warm shades of gold. The artist worked fine hard brush, causing the canvas small fluttering brushstrokes that seem alive.

. There is a legacy of Watteau, and most other things - precise, concise, where color and form acquire a harmonious balance, which gives real images in real landscape
. Among them are paintings on military theme and one of the best works of the master, belonging to our Hermitage, - 'Savoyard'. For nearly three centuries boy grinder smiles us desert, . covered with golden grass area of the small French town - not fiction, . but most of this, . with naked autumn trees, . roofed houses tile, . High Church, under sparkling blue sky cold,
. So you hear wrenching, familiar childhood tune, unpretentious words: 'From border to border the whole day going, marmot is always with me, evening me find shelter, and my woodchuck with me' ... Prikornuvshy on hurdy-gurdy marmot - the only living creature near savoyaromi, it seems that they are alone in the universe.

Friends thought Watteau misanthrope, from their letters and memoirs, we know that he spoke little, but weighty, more thought has been subject to sharp mood swings. To him relatively early fame came, his work bought Philip, Duke of Orleans, regent of France to the juvenile Louis XV, he ordered the pictures of aristocrats and the rich bankers. However, Watteau was completely indifferent to fame and the money. He road the independence and freedom. He took and tortured one - how to achieve the unattainable perfection. He works without rest, without stopping, throws unfinished canvases, destroys complete picture. It creates a lyrical landscapes, . theatrical fantasy, . pastoral, . idyll, . decorative panels, . Realistic drawings, . He wrote military weekdays, . love scenes, . peace genre paintings, . Madonna and Child and shortly before the tragic death of the mighty 'Crucifixion',

Even among this genre diversity, its constant and throwing one of his last works Watteau stands alone. Artist, all his life avoided orders and commitments, in 1720 he suggested to his friend - a merchant antiquary Zhersenu write ... sign for his shop, which is in honor of Louis XIV was called 'the Great Monarch'. 'The sign Zhersena' became a monument vague Regence.

This is the only such large-sized painting by Antoine Watteau. The lady with the Chevalier are with the pavement into the open interior of the shop. Chevalier, turning to the audience and to the lady, asking her to proceed, but it is - we see it from behind - though not noticing his outstretched hands, looking in another direction, slightly bending his head. Her eyes and our behind her - called the place where workers are placed in a box taken from the wall paintings. One of them goes sideways - a portrait of the late King-sun ... 'So passes worldly glory! " - As if the artist wants to say and puts next to the ironic-sad allegory of other characters - the visitors bench, . carefully looked at the picture, . beautiful and eternal, . timeless and fashion, . as those, . that left us a legacy itself Antoine Watteau.,

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