"Chardin" by Pierre Rosenberg

Chardin Pierre Rosenberg

Publication date:
10 Apr 2000
Yale University Press
360 pages:

Widely acknowledged in his time as a premier painter of still life and genre scenes, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699–1779) created unsentimentalized works that appeal to viewers today for their richness of feeling and simplicity of composition. This sumptuously illustrated book reproduces in full color 99 of Chardin’s works and arranges them around five themes: Chardin’s Beginnings and His First Still Lifes, Utensils and Household Objects, Genre Scenes, Chardin’s Return to Still Life, and Pastels.

The contributors to the volume explore Chardin’s work from many different angles, including the latest thinking on such lesser-known facets of his life and work as his use of ceramics and glass, his financial and property affairs, and the complex history of engravings of his paintings. Each of the five sections of the book has an introduction and a selection of Chardin’s paintings accompanied on facing pages by complete provenance, exhibition, and bibliographic information. The book also offers an extensive Chardin biography, an index of names and places, and an index of works.

Pierre Rosenberg is director of the Louvre Museum, Paris.

?This volume provides a comprehensive evaluation of the work of the artist. . . . Highly recommended for both academic and art libraries as well as for general book collections.??Library Journal

?Informative. . . . Though relatively little is known about Chardin?s life (he lead a quiet existence and never traveled farther from Paris than suburban Versailles and Fontainebleau) or his method of working (he left no preparatory sketches or drawings), the catalog contains surprisingly elaborate discourses on the domestic artifacts he depicted and on the minutiae of his financial affairs.??Francine Prose, Wall Street Journal

?Exemplary in its scholarship, this [is a] impressive, lavish volume.??Day by Day

?Excellent. . . . No question, Chardin was one of the greatest artists who ever picked up a brush.??Robert Hughes, Time Magazine

?Chardin?s paintings leave us gasping for explanations. . . . With Chardin, magic seemed to have become an everyday matter.??Paul Starr, New Republic

?A splendid survey of a sensitive artist whose masterpieces of everyday 18th-century life are sometimes overlooked.??Herbert Kupferberg, Parade

?Even to his contemporaries there seemed to be something magical about Chardin?s still lifes. . . . Not the least of Rosenberg?s virtues as a humane and attentive guide is his generous quoting of other voices.??Christopher Benfey, The New York Times Book Review

?[A] beautifully illustrated catalogue. . . . Chardin, as Julien Green says, makes other painters look like liars, and the works illustrated here?above all the still-life paintings?reminds us that this is so.??Virginia Quarterly Review