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Chardin Paintings


Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin (1699-1779)

Starting with the conclusion, Pierre Chardin paintings were very unusual for the time (France before the French Revolution was a monarchy where the principal taste was the exhuberant and the pompous) but his mastery at depicting reality and light made them very successful even with the King. His subjects were also very uncommon: still-life, humble objects and normal people and children of the "bourgeoisie".

Moreover, Chardin was admired by modern painters such as Van Gogh ("Chardin is as great as Rembrandt") ,Cézanne, Matisse, Braque and Morandi.

Chardin was an "honest", intelligent painter. he didn't want to mimic the mainstream art and so he avoided a tour to Italy (similar to the Grand Tour) and to see other painters.

"I need to forget everything that I saw and even the way these subjects have been treated by others".

He was looking for his own voice and he found it.

He's been one of the most important painter in the History of art, that is. Does the big public remember his name?

Chardin painting, self-portrait, 1771, at age 72Self portrait at age 72 (done in 1771). It's a pastel and not an oil painting because at the end of his life he had to stop using oil for health reasons. This is intriguing. I know that colours are poisoneous sometimes. For instance, when airbrushing, itis imperative to use a mask because of the fine acrylics particles which might end up in the lungs. Did Chardin breath or touched or licked pigments?

Chardin paintings
Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin (1699-1779) - late 1720s, oil on canvas


Chardin paintingsSoap Bubbles, ca. 1734, Oil on Canvas, 24 x 24 7/8 in. (61 x 63.2 cm), Metropoletan Museum of Art, New York.

Chardin paintingsThe Blessing, 1740, oil on canvas, 49 × 38 cm. Louvre


Chardin painting, still life with pepper grinder
Still life with ground pepper. A mgnificent still-life!
What an example to copy and study!


chardin paintingLa Blanchisseuese, oil on canvas, 37 × 42 cm, Hermitage

Chardin paintingPipe and drinking pitcher, 1737, oil on canvas, 32x42cm. Louvre. Magnificent, the Louvre website: read this comment on the painting from their website (highlights are mine):

"Skilled composition and a keen sense of grouping create an impression of perfect naturalness: a jumble on a table, caught by the brush. The work is based on a blue/white harmony broken up by the silvery gleam of the cup and the casket and the faded pinks of the small pot and its lid. The painter further refines the interplay of color with the touch of red provided by the burning tobacco in the blackened bowl of the long clay pipe. This is without doubt one of the handsomest - and certainly the most appealing - of Chardin's still lives. "

and again

"The creamy granularity of the texture here points up Chardin's technique: unlike Oudry and Delaporte, he avoids the virtuosity of trompe-l'oeil, opting instead for rendering perceptible the silent life of objects. "

I can't express myself so well. But in the end, this is what "to be painterly" means!


chardin paintingThe Silver Goblet, Oil on canvas, ca. 1728 - 13 x 16 1/4" (33 x 41 cm) - Louvre


chardin paintingsThe Silver Tureen, Oil on canvas, ca. 1728 - 30 x 42 1/2 in. (76.2 x 108 cm) - The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

chardin painting
The Meat Day Meal, Oil on canvas, 1731 -13 x 16 1/4" (33 x 41 cm) - Louvre

Related Webpages

Pompeo Batoni

Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin

William Adolphe Bouguereau

Jean-Léon Géròme

Emil Munier

Francois Boucher


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