The Serenader (Mézetin)

The Serenader - Jean-Antoine Watteau © RMN
Jean-Antoine Watteau - (Valenciennes, 1684-Nogent-sur-Marne, 1721)
The Serenader - Jean-Antoine Watteau © RMN

At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Watteau created a new genre in painting: the "Fêtes Galantes", and managed to obtain recognition of the genre by the strict Royal Academy of Painting. His works frequently represent Commedia dell'arte characters flirting with young women during garden parties at sunset, most often in a melancholic atmosphere. Le Donneur de serenades (The Serenader or Serenade Player) is a redundant element in Watteau's work. Quickly executed in smaller formats, these two artworks confer to Watteau an amazing virtuosity.