Jean Antoine Watteau / Mezzetin / probably 1718-20Jean Antoine Watteau
probably 1718-20

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Creator Name: Watteau, Jean Antoine
Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: French, 1684-1721
Creator Name-CRT: Jean Antoine Watteau
Title: Mezzetin
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1718
Creation End Date: 1720
Creation Date: probably 1718-20
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 21 3/4 x 17 in. (55.2 x 43.2 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 34.138
Credit Line: Munsey Fund, 1934

Mezzetin, whose name means "half-measure," was one of the stock characters of Italian commedia dell'arte. He could be a deceived or a deceiving husband, and could serve his master with devotion or take bribes and betray him. This representation of the character in his moment of ardor has the effect of a moving performance on the stage. The statue of a female figure with its back turned may imply the reaction of Mezzetin's unseen listener. The painting, usually dated 1718-20, belonged to Watteau's friend Jean de Jullienne. The artist's treatment of the silk costume and the garden background influenced Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788), who knew paintings by Watteau in British collections.

AMICA ID: MMA_.34.138
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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