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Jean Antoine Watteau is the son of a roofer who has been addicted to painting since childhood. In his youth, having no means of livelihood, he copied serially the paintings of masters of painting. The reproductions that today are created using digital printing, young Watteau redrawn - each individually. However, despite the endless hard work, the future artist had an extremely intractable character, and therefore often changed teachers and employers. The longest he lasted as a student at Claude Gillo, taking over from his mentor a passion for portraying theater scenes and the lives of actors. The genre of his works was later called the Gallant Festival - by the name of one of the paintings. Watteau's works were extremely popular with contemporaries.
Canvas The sign of Gersen's shop is the last thing that the artist managed to draw before his death. Gersin was a friend of Jean Antoine, and a seriously ill artist settled with him in the last year of his life. Gersen recently bought an antique store and offered to write a sign for his purchase. As such, the sign was not particularly needed; Gersen was just trying to keep his dying friend busy. But the picture was a success; today it is considered the best work of the artist, his swan song. Despite the large size, unusual for the creator, it was written in just a week, and Watteau worked only in the mornings. This is the only work of the author, where the action takes place in the interior, and not against the background of the landscape.
The painting-sign is painted on two separate canvases inserted into a single frame - probably, just the canvas of the right size was not found. The antique shop, depicted by the artist, is hung from floor to ceiling with paintings. In the left corner, servants pack an old portrait in a box. On the right, potential buyers are studying the product. It is believed that under the guise of a simple sign Watteau presented the history of painting in the form in which he represented it.
Stepan Razin Surikov