Pierrot is one of Jean-Antoine Watteau’s most renowned works, created between the years 1718 and 1719. The painting depicts a humorous, aristocratic celebration and people gathering – with the character of Pierrot taking center stage. This particular painting is a great example of Watteau’s ability to extend the Rococo style beyond architecture, sculpture and furniture, but into fine art too. His talent can be seen in his experimentation in composition and colour palette, as well as in his use of symbolism throughout this piece.
Watteau was contacted by commissioned collector to create this painting from sketches from which he made from a young man named only as “Vel”. The collector asked that no changes be made to any of the sketches or paintings derived from them. With its horizontal format, Pierrot is slightly larger than most other works by Watteau which proves just how special this painting was to him.
The final product – Pierrot – displays Watteau’s skillful painterly artistry and his unique interpretation of the ancient form through vivid colours and imaginative details – like the mask worn by Pierrot himself. This sophisticated masterpiece marks another success for Jean-Antoine Watteau and continues to be celebrated to this day alongside other great works such as Les Charmes De La Vie (1718).