A hundred engravings from the oeuvre of Antoine Watteau, mostly from the Edmond de Rothschild collection, illustrate the art of engraving in the 18th century.
Before his premature death at age thirty-seven, the painter, engraver, and tireless draftsman Antoine Watteau (1684–1721) set his seal on the 18th century with the grace and spontaneity of his art.
The oeuvre was engraved almost at once—between 1724 and 1735—on the initiative of his friend and protector Jean de Julienne. This remarkable venture—four volumes totaling some six hundred plates after his drawings and paintings—was entrusted to fifty engravers. A crucible for young talents including François Boucher and Laurent Cars, the project played its part in the Europe-wide development of the Rocaille style, of which Watteau was one of the main instigators.
Curator(s) : Marie-Catherine Sahut, Department of Paintings, Pascal Torres-Guardiola, Department of Prints and Drawings, Musée du Louvre
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