Dec 22, 2008

Columbine and Harlequin

Columbine and Harlequin

Date unknown

Jean Moyreau

(French, 1690–1762)

after Jean Antoine Watteau

(French, 1684–1721)

Etching

Platemark: 51.6 x 32 cm (20 5/16 x 12 5/8 in.)

Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1927.327

Catalogue raisonné: Portalis & Beraldi III, part I.211

Location

Description

Arabesques (decorations with curves and tendrils inspired by plant forms) were in vogue in 18th-century France. Watteau (1684-1721) produced arabesques for the ornamentation of walls, paneling, furniture, and ceilings. He depicted popular motifs, such as the elegant courtship in an idyllic outdoor setting pictured in The Gallant, shown nearby, or as in Columbine and Harlequin, two characters from productions of the Commedia dell'arte, an Italian comic theater.
Watteau launched a trend for the exotic scenes found on imported Chinese porcelains and lacquer ware about 1707. The parasol in The Gallant, and the Asian face that smiles down from the top of Columbine and Harlequin, are examples of chinoiserie, the playful imitation of Chinese art.

See also
Collection: 
PR - Etching
Department: 
Prints
Type of artwork: 
Print
Medium: 
Etching

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