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Published on Mar 7, 2009
Jean-Antoine Watteau was perhaps the definitive painter of the Rococo Age. He was born in 1684 in Valenciennes, once a part of Flanders and since a few years prior to Watteau's birth, the newly annexed property of the French king Lous XIV. Watteau had an unhappy childhood, partly due to his own difficult temperament and partly due to his father, an equally difficult carpenter, who had no sympathy for his son's artistic inclinations. He allowed him to be apprenticed to the town painter Jacques-Albert Gerin, but made things tough by cutting off all monetary assistance.