Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

It operates as a refuge for a civilizing element in short supply in contemporary America: honest criticism
- The Wall Street Journal

Art

September 2000

The splendid Chardin

by Karen Wilkin

On Chardin at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Every time I walked through the splendid Chardin exhibition at the Metropolitan [1] this summer, I was struck by how impossible it was to imagine how this eighteenth-century master’s paintings looked to his contemporaries. Not that there’s a lack of documentation. Quite the contrary. The work of Jean-Siméon Chardin (1699–1779) was thoroughly discussed by the art critics of his day, most famously by Denis Diderot, his friend and perhaps his most illuminating commentator—certainly the best writer among them. The critical literature that survives from Chardin’s lifetime, provoked by his submissions to the Salons from 1737 until 1779 and his widely disseminated prints, contains everything from adulatory poems and over-the-top rhapsodies to clear-eyed descriptions of particular still lifes of musical instruments, baskets of fruit, a ...

This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase

Subscribe to TNC (Print and Online editions)

Subscribe to TNC (Online only)

Purchase article credit and clip this article

If you already have an account login first

Karen Wilkin is an independent curator and critic.


more from this author

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 19 September 2000, on page 40

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/chardin-wilkin-2351

E-mail to friend


The New Criterion

By the author

Back to the future

by Karen Wilkin

On "Italian Futurism, 1909–1944: Reconstructing the Universe” at the Guggenheim, New York

Judd in the desert

by Karen Wilkin

Visiting the town Donal Judd transformed in Marfa, Texas

A Piano masterpiece

by Karen Wilkin

On the newly opened Renzo Piano addition to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

You might also enjoy

Exhibition note

by Mario Naves

On "Gauguin: Metamorphoses” at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

Exhibition note

by Christie Davies

On "Turner and the Sea” at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Gallery chronicle

by James Panero

On the “Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts” at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, the “2014 Whitney Biennial” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and “Volta NY” at 82 Mercer Street, New York

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required

Webcasts

Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "The Many Misjudgments of Richard Hofstadter"
Fred Siegel discusses his new book The Revolt against the Masses and the myriad oversights of the historian Richard Hofstadter.