Gilles, Antoine Watteau – Description and Video

Description of the picture:

Gilles – Antoine Watteau. 1717-1719. Canvas, oil. 184×149

The famous “Gilles” by Antoine Watteau, painter and draftsman, founder of the Rococo, is a portrait of the well-known hero of the comedy del arte Pierrot, whom the French called Gilles. Here he is depicted outside the theater, separated from other comedians and is not one of the masks, but a personality independent of his own companions.

Gilles stands on a small hill, therefore, in a compartment with a low horizon, his figure seems to soar upward and acquire monumentality. The canvas from the genre becomes portrait and opens the inner drama of the hero. He is not acting, but is like this in life: he is alone in the midst of friends, a stranger in the midst of his own constant companions. This is emphasized by their presence, they are busy with their discussions and are at a different level of sensory and spiritual development, as far from the hero’s experiences as the stone sculpture of the faun that protects part of the park. There is no performance – and there is no need to play. Limplessly dropping his hands and looking at the viewer, he is ridiculous and immediately miserable in his own snow-white vestments with reddish bows on his shoes. In his gaze there is a mute request for either help or love.

The painting “Gilles” is perhaps the most famous work of Watteau."