Jean-Antoine Watteau. The Feast of Love, 1718-19. Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden.

study days

Watteau & Chardin: New directions in French painting

  • Tuesday 19 July 2022
  • Sarah Fell Room, Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ
  • Lecturer: Clare Ford-Wille

Please note that this study day is a trial hybrid event. Members can choose to book either the in-person study day or to watch the event live via Zoom. You can select which way you would like to attend during the booking process. The day will also be recorded and made available to ticketholders for one week after the event. 

Exciting fresh approaches to subject matter were introduced into French painting at the beginning of the eighteenth century by Watteau and Chardin. Influenced by Flemish painting, Watteau brought to his golden landscape scenes of music-playing figures a haunting nostalgia and enigmatic mystery; while Chardin brought to French painting the new subject of everyday life in his scenes of quiet contemplation of children building card houses or mothers and maids about their daily duties. Chardin’s other important contribution was to introduce the subject of still life as he was the first French painter to submit a still life as his reception piece when he entered the French Academy in 1729.  The day will explore the work and careers of these two artists and examine their influence upon future developments in later eighteenth-century painting in the work of French male and female painters from Lancret to Anne Vallayer-Coster.

Programme for the day

Lecture 1:  Introduction:  French Painting in 1700

Lecture 2: Watteau and Chardin: From Fête Champêtre to Still Life

Lecture 3: Chardin and Scenes of Everyday Life

Lecture 4: Chardin’s Influence and Future Directions in French Painting


Clare Ford-Wille is an independent art historian, well known to members for her courses at Birkbeck and Morley College as well as a lecturer at the National Gallery, the V&A and The Arts Society groups in Britain and Europe. She has led many tours abroad. Clare is a Vice President of The London Art History Society.

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