Jean-Baptiste Chardin: biography, works

November 2, 1699 in Paris Saint-Germain was born Jean-Baptiste Chardin. His father was a Woodcarver, who performed complex work of art. In his childhood Jean-Baptiste began to show a tendency to draw and make progress.


At the beginning of his career Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin worked in the studios of well-known Parisian artists. First he received training in the workshop of Pierre Jacques Caza, painter, perfect forgotten in our days. There he made copies of paintings mostly of religious themes.

Then came apprentice to Noel Capelo, the master of historical genre painting. It was there that he started making his first serious success in different images of household items, when finishing the fine details and accessories in the paintings of Kapela. It performed so precisely and thoroughly that in the end, these parts began to look much better than the whole picture. Coipel realized that apprentice had become a master.


In 1728 in Paris, the place Dauphine, an exhibition of artists-beginners, where you first decided to exhibit his paintings, Jean-Baptiste Chardin. Among them was "Scat" and "buffet", which was written with such skill that they could easily equate to painting Dutch masters of the 17th century. No wonder they made a splash.

At the exhibition it was noticed by one of the members Royal Academy arts. And in the same year Chardin was attached to the Academy as a painter, depicting fruits and scenes of everyday life. It is curious that the membership of the Academy could only get more Mature and experienced craftsmen, recognized by society. And Chardin at the time was only 28 and he was almost not known to the public.

still life

In those days, the still life was not popular and was in the category of "inferior" genre. The dominant position occupied by the historic and mythological subjects. Despite this, Jean-Baptiste Chardin a great part of creative activities is dedicated to still lifes. And he did it with such love to detail that attracted to this genre more attention.

Chardin as the best Dutch artists in his still lifes was able to convey the charm of simple household items that surround any person. Whether it's jugs, pots, tubs, barrels for water, fruits and vegetables, and sometimes, attributes of the arts and Sciences. Still life masters do not differ in splendor and abundance of things. All items are modest and are not conspicuous, but perfectly and harmoniously with each other.

painting Technique and new plots

Jean-Baptiste Chardin in particular has seen and perceived color. Many small strokes, he tried to convey all the subtle nuances of the subject. Silver and brown tones dominated his paintings. Objects on his canvases illuminated by the rays of soft light.
Contemporary and fellow painter, enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot believed that the master had a special style of writing. If we consider the Chardin painting up close, you can see only a chaotic mosaic of colored strokes and strokes. He achieved the desired color, not just mixing on the palette of the desired color. It is painted on the canvas strokes of certain colors that have merged into a single entity, if you move away from the picture. Turned out the optical effect of mixing colors, and a desired artist complex tone. Thus, Chardin's brush like a woven fabric pattern.
Diderot admired his ability to transfer paint material objects. He wrote a rave about this line: "Oh, Chardin, it's not white, black and red paint that you rubbed on the palette, but the very essence of things; on the tip of your brush you take air and light and put on canvas!"
In the thirties began a new round in the works of Chardin. Continuing to follow the Dutch masters, he refers to his genre painting. The artist began to depict everyday life of the French third estate, which included all population groups, except for the privileged. By that time, his painting "Lady sealing a letter", "Laundress", "Woman cleaning vegetables", "Returning from market", "Hardworking mother". These scenes are among the best in genre painting.

Personal life

In 1731 the artist decides to marry Margarita Centara, the daughter of a merchant. First, they have a son and then a daughter. The son subsequently will become an artist, but the daughter understands a tragic fate. At a young age, she is killed along with his wife Chardin. It was a hard blow for the artist. In ten years he would marry again. This time the widow of the bourgeois Francoise Marguerite Page. They have a child which soon dies.
in Parallel with all this, Chardin continued his creative activity. The artist is popular, he had many orders for his work doing engravings. And since 1737 painting by Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin exhibited regularly at the Paris Salons. He became Advisor to the Royal Academy, and then assigned as the Treasurer. Receives membership in Rouen Academy of Sciences, fine arts and literature.

the Poet of everyday life

Jean-Baptiste Chardin rightly called the poet of home life, calm coziness, warmth of family ties and a home. The favorite model for the artist was a caring mother, hardworking Housewives, children playing. For instance, the painting "the Laundress" figure women out of the total dark background, and literally glows with warmth. This effect is achieved thanks to the play of light and shadow.

All the characters in his paintings are busy with daily activities. Laundress wash, mothers teach their children, maids to cook, clean vegetables, go for groceries, children blow bubbles. In some paintings it is possible to meet domestic cats. All the details of the works of Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin imbued with love to the third bar. To its quiet and measured life, his worries and family values. The heroine of his paintings, despite their plain classes, is the particular grace and elegance.

Recent years

In the seventies, in life, no longer young Chardin is still a few tragic events. Disappears his son, the financial situation is much worse, and the artist is forced to sell his house. Prolonged disease and advanced age also had an effect. Chardin decides to resign as Treasurer of the Academy.

in Recent years, the master devotes pastel painting. Particularly noteworthy are two of a portrait painted in this technique - "self-Portrait with a green visor" and "Portrait of wife".

Despite his illness and age of artist, past the portraits felt the firm hands and easy movement. Dynamic light and natural colours give the work a liveliness.
6 Dec 1779 Jean-Baptiste Chardin died.

an Invaluable contribution

the Work of French artist greatly influenced the development of European art. Thanks to the still lifes of Jean-Baptiste Chardin the genre of the unpopular and undervalued has become one of the leading. His domestic scenes been realistic, warmth and comfort. That's why they were so popular with the common people. Among his contemporaries Chardin was not a woman alive who wouldn't recognize on his canvases himself, his life, his children. Home lyrics and spontaneity, sung Chardin found a response in the hearts of the public.
No painter before him could not boast such a skillful ability to apply chiaroscuro. The light in the paintings of the masters can be felt almost physically. It seems that bringing hands toward them, and you can feel the heat. Denis Diderot spoke of his work: "I don't know which of the pictures your eyes to stop, what to choose! They are all perfect!"
Chardin also was a master colorist. He could see and record all barely perceptible to the human eye reflexes. His friends called it as magic.
Biography of Jean-Baptiste Chardin is very full and at the same time tragic. Received recognition compatriots during his lifetime, in old age he lived almost in poverty. Hard to believe, but the artist never left the borders of his native Paris.