Old Pastel Master: Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin

Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin (1699 -1779) was a French painter, considered as the master of still life. He was also well known for domestic scenes remarkable for their intimate realism and tranquil atmosphere and the luminous quality of their paint.
During his lifetime, Chardin was recognized as one of the great painters of his day and, rightfully, appreciation for his work has never waned. Rejecting the styles and subjects of his contemporaries, Chardin elevated the still life to a noble art form and achieved a place for himself as a quiet revolutionary in the pantheon of art history.
He turned to pastels in later life when his eyesight began to fail. His pastel works had no equal in freshness and spontaneity but they were not widely admired in Chardin’s own time. Those pastels, most of which are in the Louvre Museum, are highly regarded now.
The critic Denis Diderot wrote in 1763 that a still life by Chardin “is nature itself; the objects free themselves from the canvas and are deceptively true to life.” Chardin has continued to be greatly admired, inspiring many 19th-century artists, including Manet and Cézanne. Novelist Marcel Proust wrote, “We have learned from Chardin that a pear is as living as a woman, that an ordinary piece of pottery is as beautiful as a precious stone.”
Nice collection of his works you can find on youtube, but also in web art galleries and Olga’s gallery.
If you speak French, an interesting review of his work is on youtube.

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