MOYREAU, Jean (1690-1762) after Jean-Antoine WATTEAU (1684-1721)
La Cause Badine
Paris: chez Gersaint et chez Surugue, . Engraving, printed on laid paper. Very good condition with the exception of some repair in the bottom right hand corner of sheet. Image size: 13 7/8 x 19 inches. Sheet size: 16 1/2 x 21 1/4 inches. Plate mark: 14 1/2 x 19 5/8 inches.
A charming arabesque depicting a group of children playfully engaged in an argument, from Moyreau's "Oeuvres Des Estampes Gravées d'après Les Tableaux & Desseins de feu Antoine Watteau."
Born in Valenciennes in 1684, the versatile artist Jean-Antoine Watteau was primarily renowned for his fête galante paintings depicting aristocratic men and women amorously conversing in the outdoors. Following a brief apprenticeship to the local painter Jacques-Albert Gérin, Watteau moved to Paris in 1702 where he later studied with Claude Gillot, scene painter for the comédie italienne, who introduced him to the commedia dell'arte, which later became a recurrent theme in his work. In 1708, he began to work with the decorator Claude Audran, under whose tutelage he produced several innovative ornamental decorations that were for porcelain, furniture, and textiles. Watteau was also a prolific draughtsman and his varied and substantial oeuvre includes military, genre, religious, mythological, and theatrical scenes as well as tapestry cartoons. After Watteau's death in 1721, his friend Jean de Jullienne commissioned a comprehensive body of engravings after the artist's drawings and paintings, which further solidified his reputation as one of the most influential and prominent artists of the Rococo period.
Cf. Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs, vol 14, p. 473-6; cf. Dacier & Vuaflart Jean de Jullienne et Les Graveurs de Watteau au XVIIIeime Siècle, 119.