(1726 - 5 June 1806) was a French painter, who was born at Paris.
His passion for art prevailed over his father's wish, and he became in his twelfth year a pupil of Charles-Andra van Loo. Making rapid progress, he obtained at twenty the Grand Prix, and in 1748 set out for Rome. He studied the works of Annibale Carracci, Pietro Berrettini da Cortona, Giulio Romano and Michelangelo, then visited Naples, Venice, Bologna and other Italian cities, and in 1755 returned to Paris. At first unappreciated and disparaged, he resolved by one grand effort to achieve a reputation, and in 1758 he exhibited his Death of Virginia. It was completely successful, and procured him admission to the Acad??mie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. Among his greatest works are reckoned the Miracle des Ardents, painted for the church of St Genevieve at St Roch (1767)this painting was exhibited in the salon of 1767 which was recorded by Saint-Aubin in "View of the salon of 1767"; the Triumph of Thetis, for the chapel of the Invalides; and the Death of St Louis, for the chapel of the Military School. In 1776 he was appointed professor at the Academy. Soon after the beginning of the French Revolution he accepted the invitation of Catherine II of Russia. and settled at St Petersburg, where he was loaded with honors and rewards. He died there on 5 June 1806.
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