School of Chardin
| Image Notes
Reproduced: Calendar, 1994 (illustration for month of December 1994), published by Hachette Livre Education, Paris, 1993, for school classrooms in France.
Reproduced: Art School: Paintings by George Deem, Introduction by Irene McManus, Thames & Hudson, London, 1993; Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1993. Revised format edition with revised essay by Irene McManus, Thames & Hudson, London, 2005. German edition: Meister klasse: Kunst entdecken mit George Deem, Sanssouci im Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, 2005.
| Artist's Notes
Like Vermeer, Chardin (1699-1779) was concerned with simple everyday objects and with light, but every artist is unique in his paint application. To produce an illusion of Chardin's thick textural paint surface without having to duplicate his method of working and reworking the surface, I used a filler in my medium to give the effect of his signature impasto.
My School of Chardin overflows with the still-life objects that populate Chardin's paintings. Crocks, jugs, pitchers, kettles, and bottles are everywhere in my School of Chardin and spill forward of the picture plane. I have isolated a desk in the center as a device for widening the aisles between the rows of desks, the better to fit in these still-life objects. The boy seated on the floor is drawing a still life in my painting, not a figure as he does in Chardin's Schoolboy Drawing.
Because, like Vermeer, Chardin rarely goes out of doors as a painter, I have gone to Fragonard for the generic 18th-century French view of sky and trees outside the open windows. The windows and doors, the blackboard and the school desks are mine.
Clockwise, from upper left, the paintings of Chardin's which I have quoted are as follows.
Soap Bubbles, Metropolitan Museum, New York.
Still life on teacher's desk: Grapes and Pomegranates, Louvre, Paris.
Woman Drawing Water from a Water Urn, Private Collection, France.
Seen through the open door. woman in the doorway: Return from Market, Louvre, Paris.
Still life above the door in the interior room: The Silver Goblet, Louvre, Paris.
Boy in hat seated at a desk: The Draftsman, Staatliche Museen, Berlin.
Boy seated on the floor drawing: Schoolboy Drawing, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm.
Standing boy: Governess, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
Still-life objects from various paintings by Chardin.
March 25, 1996
University of Oregon Museum of Art, Eugene, Oregon
Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, Evansville, Indiana
Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana