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Mezzeten - Antoine Watteau. 55x43
Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), one of those who best expressed the spirit of the 18th century - the century of play, theater, the life of feelings - studied painting with theatrical masters. He himself loved the theater, took part in the “gallant festivities” organized by his friend, banker and collector Pierre Croz, so most of the artist’s works are inspired by this art form.
One of them - painting "mezzetine", which depicts the character of the Italian comedy del arte, once popular in Paris, a sly man and a jester. He is dressed in his traditional outfit - beret, a striped jacket with a white corrugated collar and breeches. The hero sings, accompanying himself on a guitar, a serenade. But his feeling is unrequited, this is hinted at by a statue in the form of a female figure, turned back to the unfortunate lover. The joking scene is full, however, of the subtle feelings that the gallant age so valued, and in combination with marvelous shades of colors and the finest glaze, the canvas gives rise to the feeling from Watteau's painting, about which the French writers of the Goncourt brothers said: “This is something hardly perceptible that seems like a smile hell, the soul of forms, the spiritual face of matter. "
The artist, who was luminous with happiness, was ill with consumption, shortly before his early death. Like many of his educated contemporaries, he sought to share the philosophy of the Epicureans, who taught not to think about suffering. But the beautiful melody of Mezzeten, which is heard in this work by Watteau, is still sad.