Chardin 1699-1779

Chardin 1699-1779
In his own time, Jean Siméon Chardin (1699-1779) was
acquired by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, from
highly regarded by Diderot and other critics among his
a private collection. We reunited these paintings for the
contemporaries. He was also a favorite with royalty and
first time in thirty-three years, since 1979, when they were
titled nobility in many countries. After his death, however,
shown side by side at exhibitions in Paris, Boston, and
he was largely forgotten. The mid-nineteenth century
Cleveland. We also brought together pairs of works that are
brought a reassessment of his work, which influenced
currently held in separate collections, including The Drawing
Millet, Manet, Cézanne, Matisse and many other painters.
Lesson at Tokyo Fuji Art Museum and The Good Education
The novelist Proust praises Chardin’s still lifes In Search
at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as well as The Kitchen
of Lost Time . Chardin was a master of the still life and
Table from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and The Butler’s
genre paintings of eighteenth-century France, and his
Table from the Museum of Fine Arts in Carcassonne, which
achievements as a painter spanned nearly six decades,
were also shown together for the first time in thirty-three
but there are only 238 extant paintings. Only two are in
years. The exhibition also showed other masterworks such
collections in Japan, and, apart from the Louvre Museum,
as Girl with Racket and Shuttlecock and Basket of Wild
there is only one art museum in the world that has more
Strawberries , two paintings from private collections that are
than ten of his paintings in its collection. Thus, organizing a
not usually on public display. We also exhibited the original
Chardin exhibition is fraught with difficulty. The exhibition
of the Girl with Racket and Shuttlecock , which is privately
at the Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum was the first Chardin
owned, with the replica of it in the collection of the Uffizi
exhibition in Japan.
Gallery for the first time, providing many pointers about
attribution and Chardin’s production methods as well as
The exhibition commissioner was Pierre Rosenberg,
a member of Académie française and Honorary President-
other material for future discussion.
Director of the Louvre Museum. We secured thirty-eight
paintings for exhibition by dint of special cooperation from
also organized lectures by the exhibition commissioner,
the Louvre Museum, which boasts the world’s leading
Pierre Rosenberg, and by Colin Bailey, Deputy Director and
Chardin collection. Of them, thirty-seven paintings were
Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator at the Frick Collection. The
brought from overseas, and, of them, twenty-six were
museum also collaborated with a symposium organized
exhibited in Japan for the first time. The exhibition showed
by the Société Franco-Japonaise d’Art et d’Archéologie,
two of four extant versions of Saying Grace : one that
highlighting the exhibition’s scholarly significance.
was treasured by the painter until his death and another
Chardin 1699-1779
In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum