Jean Baptiste Simeon

France • 1699−1779

Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin (FR. Jean Baptiste Siméon Chardin; 1699-1779) was a French painter who deliberately avoided solemn and pastoral mythological subjects, characteristic of the art of the XVIII century. The main subject of his still lifes and genre scenes is the everyday life of the Paris of the Philistines passed in a calm, sincere, realistic manner. Of great interest are pastel portraits, executed by Chardin in his declining years.

Disciple P. J. Casa and Noel Coypel, Chardin was born and lived all his life in Paris, the Saint-Germain-des-Pres. There is no evidence that he ever been outside of the French capital. Helping Coypel to fulfill accessories in his paintings, acquired extraordinary art to portray inanimate objects of every kind and decided to devote themselves exclusively to their reproduction. At the beginning of its independent activities wrote fruits, vegetables, flowers,household items, the hunting attributes with such skill that art lovers took his paintings for the work of the famous Flemish and Dutch artists, and only with 1739 expanded their stories scenes of domestic life of poor people and portraits.

He soon became famous Parisian public as an excellent master of still life. Genre and still life organically linked in his art as a holistic aspects and poetically deep perception of reality. Following the Dutch French genre painter, was able to Express the charm of the interior and those of the household objects that surround people. For their songs Chardin chose the most ordinary objects - kitchen water tank, old pots, vegetables, clay jug, and only occasionally in his still lifes is possible to see majestic attributes of Sciences and arts. The advantage of these paintings is not in jewels of the things she loved the Dutch, but in their spiritual poetic life, balance of building, creating a harmonic way of being.

Mastering the knowledge of colour relations, Chardin was sensitive to the relationship of subject and originality of the structure. Diderot admired the skill with which the artist makes you to feel the movement of blood under the skin of the fruit. In the color of the subject Chardin seen many shades and small dabs passed them. Such shades weaved his white. Unusually numerous grey and brown tones, owned by Chardin. Penetrating painting light rays give the subject of clarity and precision.

In the 1730s, Chardin turned to genre painting, to everyday family and domestic scenes, full of love and peace, wonderful shape and colour of wholeness ("Prayer before dinner", 1744). In his genre scenes Chardin recreated calm, measured way of life in the most ordinary, but lyrically uplifting moments, in the episodes that have moral significance.

Paintings of genre painting, different naive simplicity of content, the power and harmony of colours, soft and juicy brush, even more than the previous work Chardin, made him one of a number of modern painters and gave him a prominent place in the history of French painting. In 1728 he was numbered with the Paris Academy of arts, in 1743 elected to its advisors, in 1750 has assumed as its Treasurer; in addition, 1765 he was a member of Rouen Academy of Sciences, literature and fine arts.

In the works of different years and different genres, such as "the flower girl" (1737), "Bank with olives" (1760) or "Attributes of arts" (1765), Chardin is always excellent painter and colourist, artist of the "quiet life", a poet of everyday life; his careful and tender look spiritualizes the most mundane objects. In the last years of his life Chardin turned to pastels and created several superb portraits (portrait, 1775), which showed the inherent emotional subtlety, but also the ability to psychological analysis.

Much for the glory of Chardin was made by the encyclopedists, who was opposed to its "bourgeois" art "detached from the people" court artists - masters of erotic and pastoral vignettes in the spirit of Rococo. Diderot compared his skill with witchcraft: "Oh, Chardin, it's not white, red and black colors that you RUB on his palette, but the very essence of things; you take the air and the light on the tip of his hands and placed them on the canvas!"

When writing this article used material from the Encyclopedic dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron (1890-1907).
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