Game of Checkers
Checkers Artist Michel Barthelemy Olivier
Michel Olivier from 1712 to 1784, near Marseille, France.
The Game of Checkers by Artist Michel Olivier.
- French painter Michel Olivier, served
an apprenticeship with Carle Vanloo before
going to Spain in 1734 with Carle’s
nephew, Louis-Michel, who was appointed court
painter to King Philip V that same year.
- Olivier returned to France many years
later in 1763 and joined the Académie
de St. Luc in Paris, where he exhibited
a portrait of his wife in 1764.
- In 1766, Michel Olivier received official
recognition by the Académie Royale
de Peinture et de Sculpture and he became
the court painter of Louis François
- Game of checkers artist Michel Olivier's
four major surviving works were created
for this new patron:
1. Afternoon Tea at the Temple.
2. Feast Given to the Prince of Brunswick–Lüneburg
at l’Isle-Adam in 1766.
3. Stag Caught in the Water in Front of
the Château of l’Isle-Adam.
4. Supper of the Prince of Conti.
- From 1769 to 1782, Olivier exhibited numerous paintings with a historical, figurative theme.
- The Game of Checkers, though now a restored work sold as prints of the original oil painting is an example of his genre style combining attractive portraiture with finely colored conversations ‘espagnoles’, which included exotic figures from his time spent in Spain.
- The main features of his style were his felicitous and effective choice of warm, rich color harmonies and his meticulous, delicate brushwork to create the mood and atmosphere of the setting as displayed in the quiet, gentile setting surrounding the checkers game.
- In the original painting, Game
of Checkers, though his approach
was certainly representational, artist
Michel Olivier conveyed an intimate
and romantic mood surrounding the players
at the checkerboard in the garden.