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Storytelling in Miniature

Jean Antoine Watteau
French, 1684–1721

Woman Seen from the Back (Femme vue de dos)

Etching, about 1710
9 3/4 x 7 1/16 in.
Frederick B. and Kate L. Shoemaker Fund, 1980.1043

The two small etchings by Antoine Watteau on this and the next page suggest why he is considered one of the finest and most innovative of the 18th-century painters who also made prints. He broke new ground by exploring the freedom and spontaneity possible with the etching process—consider the view of the woman—and set the stage for the great 18th-century painter-engravers.