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Temple of Diana

Antoine Watteau (1684–1721)
Temple of Diana, 1716
Red chalk
10 1/2 x 14 1/4 inches (267 x 362 mm)
Purchased on the Sunny Crawford von Bülow Fund 1978; 1980.9
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Some time after leaving Gillot's studio in 1706, Watteau went to work with the ornament designer Claude Audran. Under Audran's influence and with his own innate taste for color and light decoration, Watteau fell under the spell of the newly emerging Rococo style, producing a number of designs for decorative arabesques. The inventiveness of the artist's imagination is displayed here in the proliferation of decorative motifs and ideas, occurring so rapidly that he summarily sketched in alternates as well. At one side the arch becomes a Rococo arbor supported by herms; at the other it is transformed into a stone structure culminating in a fantastic shell-like decoration.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.