Watteau, “Pierrot”


“Buy me, I am lonely!” said the inscription underneath the painting, and Denon bought it; and ever since, this picture has been hanging in Louvre, occasionally moved from one wall to the next. There is another mini-Watteau in the room just before with the same subject matter, and its isocephalic composition keeps Pierrot in the center of a crowd; but here he is separated from the rest of them.

Who is this character so desperately white with the pink shoe-laces? This is a white clown; remember, the one whom the red one is pushing around; the red one is also there, just slightly below; he is the quintessential dumb boss, busily giving orders or shooting breeze; and so there is some other smart Alec, ready to step in, sneaking up from behind, his sneer revealing another practical idiocy. Wait, don’t go, we’ll have a good laugh….

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