French painter, one of the greatest of the 18th century, whose genre and still life subjects documented the life of the Paris bourgeoisie. Chardin favored simple still lifes and unsentimental domestic interiors. Chardin's muted tones and ability to evoke textures are seen in Benediction and Return from Market (Louvre) and Blowing Bubbles and Mme Chardin (Metropolitan Museum). Called the grand magician by critics, he achieved a mastery in these areas unequaled by any other 18th-century oil painter. Chardin's early support came from aristocratic patrons, including King Louis XV. Chardin died in Paris, December 6, 1779.
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