Pilgrimage to the island of Kiefer, Antoine Watteau, 1717

Description of the picture:

Pilgrimage to the Kiefer Peninsula – Jean Antoine Watteau. 1717

   Kiefer – a paradise peninsula where love reigns. Against the backdrop of a beautiful landscape (1717) – idyllic drawings of a “shepherd’s” life with erotic overtones. Seduction scenes seem to be given in development, from ordinary courtship (gentleman on the right) to submissiveness and tacit consent (couples on the left). Here, and special poses, and simulated emotionality, and intimate playful grace. Here is the gentleman on the right, who is still flirting with the woman, while Cupid is warningly pulling her skirt; the other gentleman helps the lady to her feet, and his friend is already pulling the lady along, while she hesitates. To the left, next to a golden boat with rowers ready to sail, the ladies – who are gorgeous, gentle and naively slutty – encourage the guys. Watteau’s style met the laws of gallant-pastoral painting, singing the ghostly world of happiness and endless love. At the same time, charming paintings seem to hint at the transience of life, the ephemerality of earthly happiness.

   PASTORAL. Images of the so-called “gallant festivals” were very popular in France of the XVIII century. Lavishly dressed couples dance, play musical instruments, chat or indulge in fun; the scenes are dominated by an atmosphere of endless pleasure and unique longing."