The dimension of self-reflexivity in the work of Jean-Siméon Chardin.
Adapted from the lecture she delivered at the Institut für Kunstkritik, Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main, Ewa Lajer-Burcharth's essay explores the dimension of self-reflexivity in the work of eighteenth-century French painter, Jean-Siméon Chardin. Focusing on the material aspects of Chardin's practice, Lajer-Burcharth asks: In what ways were Chardin's painterly procedures “his own,” and what were the implications of his possessive and personalized approach to the process of making? The author delves into these questions by examining a crucial moment in the artist's career, when he, for reasons we can only speculate about, temporarily abandoned his still life practice and turned to painting genre scenes. The essay is joined by responses from Daniel Birnbaum and Isabelle Graw, followed by the author's replies.
Ewa Lajer-Burcharth is the William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts in the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University and senior adviser to the humanities program at the Radcliffe Institute. Her specialties include 18th-century French and contemporary art.