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Museums and Art

Italian Comedians, Jean Antoine Watteau, 1720

Italian Comedians, Jean Antoine Watteau, 1720

Italian comedians - Jean Antoine Watteau. 63.8x76.2

The artistic heritage of Watteau, the creator of the genre of “gallant holidays”, cannot be imagined without theatrical scenes with characters from the comedy del arte. Probably, this picture is one of the latest compositions with actors performed by the painter. She is a little overloaded with figures; she does not feel the strict restraint of Gilles and Metseten. But this work is to some extent a group portrait of comedians.

In the middle of a small scene stands Gillesat whose feet lies a garland of roses. One feels that this big-chested and nosed hero is real, he has just thrown off the innocent expression of his character and revealed to the public a natural, tired face. He attracts the attention of his comrades in the group, and the hand of the actor playing the role of Harlequin also points to him. Around Gilles, all the action is being built, other artists are crowding together. There are fifteen figures in the picture representing all the masks - here are Metseten, and Colombina, and Pantalone.

This is a solemn and farewell encore of comedians whom Watteau summoned from the depths of his memories to show grateful art lovers and say goodbye to them forever. There is something infinitely sad in a close group of people trying to seem cheerful. It is as if they share the sadness experienced by the viewer, who knows that in front of him is the last theatrical composition of the master.


Watch the video: Jean-Antoine Watteaus The Scale of Love. Painted Lovers. National Gallery (March 2021).