French painter. His first teacher was the history painter Jean Bardin, who took him to Rome in 1768. Back in Paris in 1772, he transferred to the studio of Nicolas-Bernard Lepicie. In 1776 he won the Prix de Rome with Alexander and Diogenes (Paris, Ecole N. Sup. B.-A.) and returned to Rome, where he was to spend the next four years at the Academie de France in the company of Jacques-Louis David and Jean-Francois-Pierre Peyron. While witnessing at first hand Peyron's development of a manner indebted to Poussin and David's conversion to Caravaggesque realism, Regnault inclined first towards a Late Baroque mode in a Baptism of Christ (untraced; recorded in two sketches and an etching), then, in Perseus Washing his Hands (1779; Louisville, KY, Speed A. Mus.), to the static Neo-classicism of Anton Raphael Mengs.
The Genius of France between Liberty and Death
Oil on canvas,
60 x 49 cm