Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jean Simeon Chardin

Jean Simeon Chardin was born in France in 1699. He lived in Paris all his life. He rarely travelled and when he did, he did not go far.
Chardin apprenticed with two painters of history before earning his way into the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.

In 1737, Chardin showed his work at the Paris Salon, the official exhibition of art in France, for many years. He was very involved in the Salon. He went to meetings and helped organize shows.

Even though Chardin’s artwork was different from most art of the time, a lot of people liked his worked. Other artists admired his art and the King of France even paid him to paint.
As Chardin grew old, his eyesight got worse and worse. Eventually he couldn’t paint in his realistic style anymore. In his old age, Chardin created pastel drawings instead, like Self Portrait with Easel (above). They weren’t popular at the time but they are now. Chardin died in 1779.

During the mid-1700s, Rococo art was in style. These paintings were very decorative. There had curving shapes and soft colors. Rococo paintings often included mythological scenes or scenes of wealthy people having fun. Chardin did not paint in this style.
As you can see, Chardin didn’t use bright colors. He chose subdued colors, like browns, tan, copper, and deep red, instead. His paintings were so realistic that other artists of the time were amazed by his talent. Chardin painted still-lifes of food or kitchen items, like The Silver Goblet (above), and paintings of middle-class people. Girl with Racket and Shuttlecock (below) shows a girl getting ready to play badminton. Boy with Playing Cards (below) shows a boy setting up cards the way we sometimes set up dominos.
I especially like Soap Bubbles, which is shown at the top of this page. The bubble wand may look different than what we’re used to, but even in the 1700s kids enjoyed blowing bubbles.

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1 comment:

Peter said...

Chardin, a great one - absolutely one of my favourites!