Gersaint’s Shopsign (1721) by Jean-Antoine Watteau

Gersaint's Shopsign - Jean-Antoine Watteau - 1720

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Artwork Information

TitleGersaint's Shopsign
ArtistJean-Antoine Watteau
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions163 x 306 cm
Art MovementRococo
Current LocationSchloss Charlottenburg, Berlin, Germany
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About Gersaint's Shopsign

Jean-Antoine Watteau’s Gersaint’s Shopsign was painted in 1721 as a shop sign for Edme François Gersaint, a marchand-mercier or art dealer. According to Daniel Roche, the painting functioned more as an advertisement for the artist than the dealer itself. The large size of the painting suggests that it requires careful conservation treatment than many of the smaller pictures in museums’ collections. Although it was originally intended to serve as a shop sign hanging on a counter, business or advertisement, the focus was more centered around personal satisfaction and achievement rather than money.

The subject and composition ofGersaint’s Shopsign makes it one of Watteau’s masterpieces and is considered to be among his greatest works. This painting signifies Watteau’s style which came from his interpretation of fascination with rococo undertones. In comparison, another of his famous pieces titled ‘Flora’ painted in 1716 also carries a similar rococo style and encompasses floral imagery and winding origins. The flowers are depicted within elegant curves against an earthy background which offers further insight into Watteau’s unique style.

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