Celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Chardin (1699-1779) this work presents an in-depth study of his still lifes and scenes of domestic life. Respected by Manet and Cezanne, an inspiration to Morandi and Soutine, Chardin was above all a man of his time. Turning his back on the world of his contemporaries Fragonard and Boucher, and evading easy but erroneous comparisons with Flemish painters of interiors, Chardin gradually focused more and more on the spaces between objects rather than the objects themselves. As the details in his still life compositions shrink away, Chardin emerges as "The painter of pure painting" and the precursor of many artists of a century and more later. This book reveals Chardin's world, illuminated by his life, friends and colleagues and above all by the audience for whom he produced some of the most popular works of the 18th century.