Peter Paul Rubens was the main influence on Watteau's formative years. In 1717, Watteau joined the Academy of Painting. Some of his masterpieces are: Gilles and his Family (1716), Embarkation for Cythera (1717-19), The Mezzetin (1717-19) and L'Enseigne de Gersaint (1720).
The happy feel of his paintings made for a poignant contrast to his personal life, which was miserably lonely and punctuated by frequent illness. 
Watteau is now regarded as a forerunner of the Impressionists in his handling of color and study of nature.
- Biography Olga's Gallery.
- Watteau - Biography Written by Lisa MacDonald especially for the Artchive.
- Jean-Antoine Watteau
- Artist Profile Art History