Venetian Party, Watteau

Venetian Party, Watteau
Venetian Party, Watteau

Throughout the 18th century a new artistic conception prevailed in Europe, the rococo style, however we must point out how this trend was the natural result of representing an aristocratic lifestyle that was born in France and later became spread throughout Europe. This particular way of life in which the noble classes only cared about enjoying themselves in a relaxed and relaxed atmosphere while the common people could barely survive was the trigger for the French Revolution that would end with the principles established by the Old Regime, but while all this was happening, life at court was very comfortable for the aristocratic classes and a good example of this are the paintings that the artist Watteau made of it. Specifically, this genius of painting came to create a new pictorial genre that he called Gallant Party and in which the open-air parties of the aristocracy of France were represented.


Jean Antonie Watteau (1684 – 1721) was born in the Flemish region of Valenciennes, which had just been incorporated into the French dominions. It seems that the artist began his training very young, when he was only eleven years old, in the workshop of Jacques Albert Guerín and when he died he moved to the French capital to continue his studies. However, Watteau did not achieve the success he longed for, which took him back to his city and two yearsthen he tried his luck again in Paris; this time, the artist surrounded himself with characters close to the theater and obtained the recognition he wanted. In 1712 he painted his great work Embarkation for the Island of Cytherea and since then he has achieved innumerable successes with his pictures ofgallant parties

On this occasion we find ourselves before a vertical canvas that measures just over fifty-five centimeters in height and forty-five in width and is made in oil on canvas; the work is known as the Venetian Party. It represents a Venetian-type party despite the fact that the layout of the garden where it is celebrated seems to indicate that it is France. At the party the protagonists are the French aristocrats as a whole so we cannot single out any particular figure.

In the center of the composition we find a lady in a blue dress who is dancing with a man who seems to be in disguise, she is the lover of the Duke of Orleans and he is a famous painter friend of Watteau who came to direct the Academy of Fine Arts. It seems that both characters are dancing the minuet and behind them a wide array of aristocrats enjoy the party; among them is the self-portrait of the painter himself who joined the celebration.

It seems that Watteau may have been inspired by a print that had been published in 1732 under the same title as his work.

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