Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin (1699-1779) is acknowledged as one of the finest genre and still-life painters of the eighteenth century. Until now, there has been surprisingly little substantial scholarship published on this great French artist's work. This authoritative and beautiful book redresses that lack, bringing to light a wealth of new material about an important and seminal artist, including paintings discovered within the last decade. A man of humble origins who painted humble subjects, Chardin rose to become one of the most sought-after artists of his day, attracting the patronage of Catherine the Great, Frederick the Great, and the Queen of Sweden, among others. The outstanding colorplates in Chardin clearly demonstrate why his work was so popular, and why it still intrigues us today. They reveal the artist's extraordinary understanding of form and volume, his virtuosity in depicting surface textures, and above all his poetic, yet unsentimental feeling for the common objects of daily life. Chardin's unassuming kitchen-table vignettes were enormously influential on the history of painting in France, where they have been revered for two centuries. They touch us with their calmness and humanity: a young boy building a house of cards; a woman taking tea, interiors with fruit, game, and lustrous copper pans. They are more than just depictions of domestic contentment; Chardin's paintings convey values that transcend his time and bring the artist and the modern observer together. An illustrated catalogue of prints made after Chardin's paintings accompanies a fascinating analysis of Chardin's life and career by Marianne Roland Michel, Director of the noted Galerie Cailleux in Paris and a highly regarded authority on French eighteenth-century painting and drawing. Together with contemporary accounts by Denis Diderot and Charles-Nicholas Cochin, a fully rounded picture emerges of the artist's life, his critical reception, the artistic world of his time, and his works themselves, which alone are proof of his unique standing. This lavish work is an invaluable contribution to the literature on Chardin and eighteenth-century art.