You can be sure that most of the high positions in the country would be empty if one were admitted only after an examination as severe as the one we painters must pass. — Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin
Birthday to Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, French painter born on this day in Paris, 1699. He was considered master of still life painting, but I do prefer those of genre - especially so the motives of card players and bubble blowers. Known to paint slowely, he produced no more than around four paintings a year. This number was even smaller toward the end of his life when he was also responsible for arranging Salon exhibitions and worked as its treasurer as well.
As the story goes Chardin as a young painter exhibited his works around Pont Neuf, hoping to get noticed; this happened in 1720 when Van Loo bought one of these paintings and then decided to assist him. He was admitted to the Academy in 1728 but his popularity and wealth came laterthrough the reproductive engravings of his genre paintings. He was to become a strong influence on later artists feom Manet to Lucian Freud, having been also one of the favourite artists of Henri Matisse.
Self-Portrait with Spectacles, 1771