Wednesday, 3 August 2016

4th Spare Apartment in the Winter Palace

The Frick Collection in New York is holding an exhibition of Watteau’s military paintings. It reminded me of the numerous Watteau paintings that were hung in the private rooms of the Winter Palace.

Jean-Antoine Watteau is best known for his ‘fêtes galantes’ paintings; dreamlike bucolic settings of the Rococo period.

The British Art Historian, Sir Michael Levey, said ‘Watteau created, unwittingly, the concept of the individualist artist loyal to himself, and himself alone’. Watteau influenced François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

The children’s rooms on the 1st floor of the Winter Palace, known as the 4th Spare Apartments, were redecorated in 1855 for Grand Duke Nicholas N. and his wife. The suite included an adjacent former kamer-jungfera apartment that was converted to a drawing room and study for the Grand Duke.

Hau’s Watercolor (below) of the 4th Spare Drawing Room in 1869

This drawing room had several Watteau paintings, one of which was his Fête Champêtre (Pastoral Gathering) (below).

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