• Savoyard with a Marmot

    Artist:
    Watteau, Antoine. 1684-1721
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    40,5x32,5 cm

Watteau, Antoine. 1684-1721

Savoyard with a Marmot

France, 1716

Antoine Watteau was one of the most brilliant artists of the early 18th century. His work gave rise to a new stage in the evolution of French art. He continued the line of genre painting in a completely different spirit, introducing into his pictures a special sense of intimacy and lyrical excitement. Savoyard with a Marmot, one of the artist’s best works, is an illustration of this. Watteau depicted an itinerant musician from the impoverished region of Savoy on the borders of France. We see the youth with his clarinet and a trained marmot that tells fortunes by pulling predictions from the box. A little wandering entertainer like this became the subject of Goethe’s Lied des Marmottenbuben, which Beethoven set to music. Watteau splendidly conveys his subject’s feeling of sad loneliness, heightened by the otherwise deserted landscape. The town from which the Savoyard has just come, or where he is now bound, is an alien environment that has no room for him. The innovativeness of Watteau’s manner as a painter manifests itself in the unconstraint and lightness of the brushstrokes, in the wealth of nuances of colour and in the way he conveys a space filled with light and air.

Title:

Savoyard with a Marmot

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

40,5x32,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage before 1774; the collection of Catherine the Great

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-1148

Category:

Collection:

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