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Antoine Watteau was the first French artist who decided to reject academicism with its heroic pathetics.
Before us is one of his gallant paintings. He seeks to convey to the audience the experiences and feelings of the characters. This is a sketch made by the artist in the garden, where representatives of secular society usually walked.
We see a young lady. She is wearing a dark elegant dress. Her head is proudly raised, and her lips are poutfully pouting. The lady turned to her gentleman, and he tells her something very insinuating. The viewer understands that the lady and her gentleman are sophisticated in these matters. We see just a love game. This intimate scene takes place in one of the quite secluded alleys of the old park.
The artist was able to convey doubts tormenting the heroine. She can not decide what is better to leave or to listen to what the man wants to tell her. Watteau wanted to capture as accurately as possible the reaction of the woman and her character. He tried to convey an alarm that was hard enough to catch. The artist completely poetizes an absolutely banal episode. A shade of reverie and sadness is introduced, which is carefully hidden. But at the same time it is felt in everything.
The color of the picture is of undoubted interest. It is based on only gentle tones. In the figures themselves, the color is quite saturated. It is emphasized by the softness of the colors that Watteau used to portray the landscape. Trees are translucent, and the silhouettes of strolling couples are only guessed.
You can feel the rhythm of music throughout the composition. The outline of the figures is whimsical, the soft outlines of trees with a pattern of thin woven branches, the colors sound very gentle. It is like a chord that sounds very quiet.
Watteau deliberately uses semitones. He conveys feelings restrained. The composition is elegantly built. Paints are applied with strokes. They shine, then only flicker slightly.
The picture is incredibly lyrical. The domestic scene is depicted with deep lyricism.