PRINT May 2003


“The Age of Watteau, Chardin, and Fragonard”

AN EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY TO SEE MUCH of the best painting done in eighteenth-century France begins this summer in Ottawa at the National Gallery of Canada: “The Age of Watteau, Chardin, and Fragonard: Masterpieces of French Genre Painting.” The number and significance of pictures by each of the three principals alone would constitute miniature retrospectives of astonishing quality. The same could be said for Jean-Baptiste Greuze, who does not receive titular status but enjoys equal prominence both in art history and in the present exhibition. Just to have the opportunity to see his Marriage Contract of 1761, a mainstay of the French national collection since the ancien régime, alongside its 1763 pendant Filial Piety, which was spirited away to Saint Petersburg by Catherine the Great, makes the exhibition a necessary pilgrimage for anyone with even a passing interest in the period.


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