Antoine Watteau

Art – Market – Crafts

The exhibition is under the patronage of the Ambassador of the French Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany

2021 is the 300th anniversary of the death of the French painter Antoine Watteau (1684-1721). The fame of the artist, who was already celebrated in his lifetime, extends down to this day, and his works are coveted collector’s items. After the Louvre in Paris, the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation Berlin-Brandenburg has the most important collection of this artist’s paintings. Under the motto “Art – Market – Crafts” a special exhibition at Charlottenburg Palace will honour this outstanding 18th century painter. At the centre of the exhibition stands one of Watteau’s major works: the Shop Sign of the Art Dealer Gersaint. Purchased by Frederick the Great (1712-1786) in 1746, the painting has been considered a masterpiece since its creation. Originally designed as a means of commercial advertising and as the Parisian dealer’s “shop sign”, to this day the picture raises questions of contemporary relevance concerning the marketing, trading, and collecting of art, as well as our intellectual engagement with it.

Two protagonists of the Parisian art world will be presented: Edme-François Gersaint (1694-1750) and Jean de Jullienne (1686-1766). Following Watteau’s death, the young, ambitious art dealer Gersaint used his shop on the Pont Notre Dame in Paris to market the artist’s work Europe-wide using new advertising media and formats. Together with Jullienne, a collector and patron of Watteau, they realised the idea of producing printed graphic reproductions of all the artist’s paintings and drawings. With this edition, the Recueil Jullienne, emerged the prototype of a modern, illustrated collection of works which started a veritable fashion: Throughout Europe collectors, manufactory owners and craftsmen purchased the print graphics of Watteau’s works. Watteau’s pictorial world also inspired courtly painting and the applied arts in Prussia. Motifs á la Watteau not only found their way into painting, but also onto folding screens, wallpaper, fans, porcelain and tapestries of the Frederician period.

Watteau has served as a source of inspiration down to modern times. Contemporary artists such as the Swiss painter Thomas Huber (*1955) and the British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood (*1941) are each represented in the exhibition with one work. Their artistic positions demonstrate that to this day Watteau is perceived as an innovative artist and that he inspires an inventive-creative engagement with his work. The exhibition, under the patronage of the Ambassador of the French Republic to the Federal Republic of Germany, paints a multifaceted picture of Watteau as artist and style icon, whose fame was established in the shop of the art dealer Gersaint on the Pont Notre Dame in Paris.

09.10.2021 - 09.01.2022


Charlottenburg Palace – New Wing
Spandauer Damm 10-22
14059 Berlin

To the info page of the venue

How to get there

Public Transportation

Stop "Luisenplatz/Schloss Charlottenburg (Berlin)"

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Paid parking spaces for cars and buses.

Opening Hours

Valid: 09.10.2021 - 09.01.2022
Monday closed
Tuesday  - Sunday: 09:00 - 16:30

Overview of opening hours and holidays »


  • wheelchair access

Exhibition Catalogue

Watteau. Kunst – Markt – Gewerbe
Hirmer Verlag Munich
ISBN 978-3-7774-3786-6 (German edition)

Antoine Watteau. L’art, le marché et l’artisanat d’art
Bruxelles : Fonds Mercator
ISBN 978-3-7774-3784-2 (French edition)

Exhibition price: 29.90 €
Bookstore price: 39.90 €




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Partner und Förderer der Ausstellung Antoine Watteau