L’Enseigne de Gersaint, 1720, Watteau
L’Enseigne de Gersaint, or “Gersaint’s Shopsign”, (1720) is a painting by Jean-Antoine Watteau, which is considered to be his last masterpiece. It was painted as a shop sign for the marchand-mercier, or art dealer, Edme François Gersaint. According to Daniel Roche the sign functioned more as an advertisement for the artist than the dealer.
The painting exaggerates the size of Gersaint’s cramped boutique, hardly more than a permanent booth with a little back-shop, on the medieval Pont Notre-Dame, in the heart of Paris, both creating and following fashion as he purveyed works of art and luxurious trifles to an aristocratic clientele.