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Antoine Watteau

Valenciennes 1684 - Nogent-sur-Marne 1721


Antoine Watteau was born in Valenciennes on October 10, 1684. Even though Watteau was trained by the painter Gérin in his home town, his style was influenced more by his reference to nature and the Dutch masters. Around 1702 Antoine Watteau went to Paris, where he earned a living as a dealer of paintings, until he met the painter Gillot, under whom he studied for a short time.
After this short apprenticeship, Antoine Watteau worked for the decorative painter Claude Audran, the attendant of the Luxembourg gallery, on whose order he painted numerous murals, whose profound compositions, however, only survived as reproductions from plates. In Luxembourg Antoine Watteau studied the paintings of Rubens, who had a great influence on his vivid palette.
In 1708 Antoine Watteau entered the academy as a student. Having been encouraged by the painter Lafosse, Antoine Watteau applied for the academy membership and was admitted, but only became a member in 1717, because, he was unable to enter the obligatory reception piece any earlier, as he was inundated with orders.
In 1716 the art collector Crozat accommodated him in his house, where Antoine Watteau met numerous art connoisseurs and found a great source for his studies in the shape of Crozat's great collection of hand drawings. Unfortunately, Antoine Watteau was unable to enjoy his talent and his great prospects for much longer. In autumn 1720 Antoine Watteau traveled to London once more, but the summer after his return he fell victim to tuberculosis.
On July 18, 1721, Antoine Watteau died at the young age of 37 in Nogent-sur-Marne near Vincennes.


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