The End of Watteau

Watteau was a delicate man whose health was fragile throughout his short life. In 1720, suffering from tuberculosis, he travelled to London to consult a fashionable doctor but finding that the unwholesome effects of the English climate outweighed any benefit of the treatment he returned to France. The last months of his life were spent near Nogent-sur-Marne in the home of his patron the Abbé Haranger, from whom we have the very touching and pathetic account of the artist on his deathbed, mute and delirious, painting imaginary figures in the air with an immaterial brush. He was 36 years old and had little reason to suspect the lasting renown his fragile oeuvre would claim nor the extraordinary affection it would inspire in the centuries to follow.

Jean-Antoine Watteau
10 October 1684 – 18 July 1721


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