Skip to Content

A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

La Surprise: Watteau in Los Angeles

Until
J. Paul Getty Museum / Los Angeles / Art

The paintings of Antoine Watteau, the early-18th-century French artist, do not reflect his life. The son of a roofer, Watteau grew up in a provincial town, moved to Paris, and took a job mass-producing devotional paintings. He found mentors in the French masters Claude Gillot and Claude Audran III, and began painting theatrical yet ethereal scenes of French aristocrats and dilettantes at play, works for which he is revered. Watteau died young, at age 36. Coinciding with the 300th anniversary of his death, this exhibition highlights Watteau’s penchant for picturing joyous moments: people dancing, courting, strolling, lounging. The show’s title comes from a recent Getty acquisition—Watteau’s La Surprise, a painting that features two lovers kissing in a park at sunset. It is one of a dozen Watteaus on view. —J.D.

Visit
J. Paul Getty Museum 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272, USA
Get Directions »
Start a New Search
Subscribers Only

Start your free trial to access the full Arts Intel Report

Subscribe to Air Mail to access every article
and search our entire Arts Intel Report.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign in here.