CFP: Watteau and His Universe (Paris, 17-18 Nov 2021)

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Call for Papers: Watteau and His Universe
Networks and Influences of Antoine Watteau (1684-1721)
Musée de l’Armée – Hôtel des Invalides, Paris, November 17 – 18, 2021
Deadline: 15 Oct 2020

To commemorate the tricentenary of the death of Antoine Watteau (Valenciennes, 1684 – 1721, Nogent-sur-Marne), a two-day symposium will be held in Paris in partnership with the Fine Arts Paris fair.

Since the major retrospective of 1984, several important publications have been produced. In 1996, Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat co-signed the catalogue raisonné of Watteau’s drawings. In 2010, Christoph Martin Vogtherr conducted an extensive survey (historical and material) of French paintings by Watteau and his entourage in the collections of Prussian palaces, continued by an exhibition in the musée Jacquemart-André. Since 2014, Martin Eidelberg has been developing the Watteau and His Circle project, alongside the catalogue raisonné of his paintings: A Watteau Abecedario. Eidelberg’s Watteau and His Circle project is the inspiration for this symposium. His research on artists who gravitated around Watteau, such as Pierre Antoine Quillard or Nicolas Lancret, together with the work of other scholars on those and other artists in the orbit of Watteau, have called into question the tradition of the solitary work of the artist.

In 1932, Robert Rey was the first to consider Watteau’s followers as satellites, situating the artist as a central figure who set in motion an entire system around him. This term of satellites implies a notion of attraction and of concentric circles revolving around a central figure and occasionally crossing each other. However, within the framework of this symposium, this conception does not necessarily imply a hierarchy among the elements, but sees them interacting independently of their perceived importance. Masters, contemporaries, followers, friends, merchants and collectors all took part in Watteau’s universe.

Thus the aim of this symposium entitled “Watteau and His Universe” is to study the figures gravitating around the painter who made him a central figure in eighteenth-century century French art. Close investigation of fellow painters, printmakers, merchants, collectors, amateurs and friends is necessary in order to further our knowledge of Watteau. Communications will be expected to draw upon the works of art (drawings, paintings, etchings), so that they are exploited for their intrinsic value; the same goes for archival elements offering direct insight into the careers and interactions between Watteau and his universe.

The symposium will be divided into three parts:
1. Artists around Watteau
2. Watteau’s Social Milieu
3. Watteau on the Art Market: Collectors, Amateurs, Merchants

Steering committee:
– Martin Eidelberg (Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University, New Jersey)- Guillaume Faroult (Curator of 18th century French paintings and British and American paintings, Paris, Louvre Museum)
– Margaret Morgan Grasselli (Visiting Lecturer, Department of History of Art and Architecture, Harvard University, and Visiting Senior Scholar for Drawings, Harvard Art Museums)
– Axel Moulinier (Doctoral student in History of Art, École du Louvre, Paris; University of Burgundy, Dijon)
– Louis-Antoine Prat (Art historian)
– Pierre Rosenberg, president (Member of the French Academy)
– Christoph Martin Vogtherr (Director General of the Foundation for Prussian Castles and Gardens Berlin-Brandenburg)

Useful information:
The symposium is organized in partnership with the international Fine Arts Paris fair (November 16 to 23, 2021) and will be held in the auditorium of the Musée de l’Armée – Hôtel National des Invalides.
– November 17 and 18, 2021.
– Papers will be given in French and English (without translation) and 20 minutes long.
– June 15, 2020: broadcast of the call for papers
– October 15, 2020: deadline for sending proposals
– November 15, 2020: notification of decision.

Since the organization of this symposium is a private initiative without public funding, please include at the end of your proposal your partner institution(s), your city of residence (in November 2021) and your ability or not to finance your trip. Requests for travel subventions will be studied on a case by case basis in order not to disadvantage students and independent researchers.

Format of the proposals:
– Last name, first name, home institution
– Proposed title of the communication
– Summary of the proposal in 500 words (± 10%, the count must appear at the end of the document)
– Illustrations (5 maximum, optional)
– .word or .pdf document
– Proposals must be sent to the address: with the subject “NAME + Watteau 2021 symposium”.

Publication of the symposium proceedings is planned within 12 months of the event. In order to speed up the publication process of the proceedings, upon notification of their acceptance, participants of the symposium will be asked to write their papers according to the established editorial standards. These will be forwarded with the approval notices.

For any questions, contact: Axel Moulinier (Doctoral student in History of Art, École du Louvre, University of Burgundy) via