Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin

French (1699 - 1779)
Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin A Vase of Flowers early 1760s


Born 1699
Died 1779
Nationality French
Birth place Paris
Death place Paris

Chardin specialised in the painting of still-life and simple domestic scenes which were remarkable for their clear, balanced compositions and technical virtuosity. His works were greatly admired by contemporaries and although they belonged to the lowly category of genre there was a ready market for them. Chardin was admitted to the French Academy in 1728 and from the mid 1750s was responsible for the organising and hanging of the Academy exhibitions at the Paris Salon. His work fell out of favour after his death, but interest was revived in the nineteenth century and his paintings influenced the realism of Millet and Courbet.

Glossary terms

  • A French term that denotes different types of paintings, such as landscape, portrait or still life. The phrase ‘genre painting’ is used specifically to describe works depicting everyday scenes.

  • Art based on the observation of objects rather than on theoretical or stylistic concerns.

  • Term used to denote painters from the Renaissance until 1800, or their works.

  • A painting, drawing or photograph depicting inanimate objects.

  • Used generally for art that attempts to represent things as they appear. It specifically refers to a mid-19th century movement in France, led by Gustave Courbet, that rejected the sometimes obscure subject matter of academic painting in favour of more accessible scenes of everyday life.