The picture “Metzeten” depicts the character of the Italian comedy del-art, once popular in Paris – a cunning and jester. He is dressed in his traditional outfit: a beret, a striped jacket with a white corrugated collar and breeches. The hero sings a serenade, accompanying himself on the guitar. But his feeling is unrequited, this is hinted at by a statue in the form of a female figure, turned with its back to the unfortunate lover.
The playful scene is full of subtle feelings, which valued the gallant age. Together with marvelous shades of colors and finest glazes, the canvas gives rise to that sensation from the painting of Watteau, about which the French writers – the Goncourts brothers said: “This is something subtle that seems to be a smile of features, the soul of forms, the spiritual face of matter.”
A picture, shining with happiness, a consumptive painter, the artist wrote shortly before his early death. Like many of his educated contemporaries, he sought to share the philosophy of the Epicureans, who taught not to think about suffering. But the beautiful melody of Metssetin, which is heard in this work of Watteau, is still sad.