Widely acknowledged in his time as a premier painter of still life and genre scenes, Jean-Baptiste-Simeon 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.