Watteau, Antoine
French painter, and founder of the school known as that of the painters of Les Fêtes Galantes.

Watteau lived most of his life in Paris where Mr. de Crozat - a gallery owner - introduced him to many artists, and gave him the free run of his house and gallery.

During this time Watteau produced some of his best pictures, and was received by the Academy under the title of 'Le Peintre des Fêtes Galantes' in 1717. It was at this time that he produced his great picture, 'The Embarkment for Cythera', which created a great sensation in Paris, and was the beginning of quite a new epoch in art.

Watteau introduced a painting style of delicately romantic art that became popular in France in the 1700's. His paintings stand quite alone in art, picturing the frivolity of his epoch extravagantly, but with great beauty and extraordinary charm.

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Webmuseum: text + pictures

Wilkie, Sir David
British genre and portrait painter, and printmaker known for his anecdotal style.

Educated at the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh, Wilkie was perhaps best known for his historical and religious works, but was also a successful painter of portraits and other subjects.

He settled in London, being elected to the Royal Academy in 1811. In 1828, he painted 'The Entry of George IV into the Palace of Holyroodhouse', celebrating the first visit of a British monarch to Scotland for almost 200 years in 1822.

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Wilkie Gallery

Wren, Sir Christopher

Wren was a child prodigy who made contributions to anatomy, astronomy, mechanics and mathematics all before the age of 16.

After the Great Fire (1666) in London Wren turned his attention to architecture. He made plans for a grandly redesigned capital. He was made Surveyor of the King's Works in 1669 and given the massive job of rebuilding both the St. Paul's Cathedral and 51 other scorched churches. The design and construction of the cathedral turned into a 30-year venture that monopolized Wren's attentions at the expense of his scientific work.

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See: Great Buildings