Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin was born November 2, 1699.
He was the son of a cabinetmaker, and though largely self-taught, he was greatly influenced by the realism and subject matter of the 17th-century Low Country masters. His early support came from patrons in the French aristocracy, including Louis XV, despite his unconventional portrayal of the then-rising bourgeoisie.
At a time when it was hard for unknown painters to come to the attention of the Royal Academy, he managed to catch their attention and was admitted in 1728.
He is known for his beautifully textured still lifes as well as his sensitive and touching genre paintings. He favored simple still lifes and unsentimental domestic interiors. Simple, even stark, but treasured paintings of common household items and an uncanny ability to portray children's innocence in a nonsentimental manner made his paintings universal across time.
Chardin worked very slowly and he only painted slightly more than 200 pictures (about four a year) total
In the 1770s his eyesight weakened and he took to painting in pastel crayons, a medium in which he executed portraits of his wife and himself. His works in pastels are now highly valued.
He was born, lived and died in Paris on December 6, 1779.