Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) was a French painter and draftsman who is best known for his fêtes galantes, elegant scenes of upper-class society in the early 18th century. He was born in Valenciennes, France, and showed an early aptitude for art, studying with local artists before moving to Paris in 1702. Watteau worked as an assistant to painter Claude Gillot, creating theater sets and costume designs, which influenced his later works. His paintings, characterized by their delicate brushwork, pastel colors, and whimsical subject matter, were highly sought after by collectors and patrons of the arts. Despite his success, Watteau suffered from poor health and died at the age of 36. He is considered a pivotal figure in the development of the Rococo style and is celebrated for his contributions to the art of the 18th century.