Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Greuze

Jean-Baptiste Greuze Painting Reproductions Gallery 2 of 5

1725-1805

French Rococo Painter

Jean-Baptiste Greuze (21 August 1725 – 4 March 1805) was a French painter.
Born at Tournus, in Burgundy, he is generally said to have formed his own talent; this is, however, true only in the most limited sense, for at an early age his inclinations, though thwarted by his father, were encouraged by a Lyonnese artist named Grandon, or Grondom, who enjoyed during his lifetime considerable reputation as a portrait-painter. Grandon not only persuaded the father of Greuze to give way to his sons wishes, and permit the lad to accompany him as his pupil to Lyons, but, when at a later date he-himself left Lyons for Paris - where his son-in-law Grétry the celebrated composer enjoyed the height of favour — Grandon carried young Greuze with him.
Settled in Paris, Greuze worked from the living model in the school of the Royal Academy (Paris), but did not attract the attention of his teachers; and when he produced his first picture, "Le Père de famille expliquant la Bible a ses enfants," considerable doubt was felt and shown as to his share in its production. By other and more remarkable works of the same class Greuze soon established his claims beyond contest, and won for himself the notice and support of the well-known connoisseur La Live de Jully, the brother-in-law of Madame d'Epinay. In 1755 Greuze exhibited his "Aveugle trompé," upon which, presented by Pigalle the sculptor, he was immediately agréé by the Academy.
Towards the close of the same year he left France for Italy, in company with the Abbé Louis Gougenot, who had deserted from the magistrature — although he had obtained the post of conseiller au Châtelet in order to take the petit collet. Gougenot had some acquaintance with the arts, and was highly valued by the Academicians, who, during his journey with Greuze, elected him an honorary member of their body on account of his studies in mythology and allegory; his acquirements in these respects are said to have been largely utilized by them, but to Greuze they were of doubtful advantage, and he lost rather than gained by this visit to Italy in Gougenot's company. He had undertaken it probably in order to silence those who taxed him with ignorance of great models of style, but the Italian subjects which formed the entirety of his contributions to the Salon of 1757 showed that he had been put on a false track, and he speedily returned to the source of his first inspiration.
In 1759, 1761 ("L'accordée de village", Louvre), and 1763 Greuze exhibited with ever-increasing success; in 1765 he reached the zenith of his powers and reputation. In that year he was represented with no less than thirteen works, amongst which may be cited "La Jeune Fille qui pleure son oiseau mort", "La Bonne Mère", "Le Mauvais fils puni" (Louvre) and "La Malediction paternelle" (Louvre). The Academy took occasion to press Greuze for his diploma picture, the execution of which had been long delayed, and forbade him to exhibit on their walls until he had complied with their regulations. "J'ai vu la lettre," says Diderot, "qui est un modèle d'honnêteté et d'estime; j'ai vu la réponse de Greuze, qui est un modèle de vanité et d'impertinence: il fallait appuyer cela d'un chef-d'œuvre, et c'est ce que Greuze n'a pas fait."
Greuze wished to be received as a historical painter, and produced a work which he intended to vindicate his right to despise his qualifications as a peintre de genre. This unfortunate canvas "Sévère et Caracalla" (Louvre) was exhibited in 1769 side by side with Greuze's portrait of "Jeaurat" (Louvre) and his admirable "Petite Fille au chien noir". The Academicians received their new member with all due honours, but at the close of the ceremonies the Director addressed Greuze in these words "Monsieur, l'Académie vous a reçu, mais c'est comme peintre de genre; elle a eu égard à vos anciennes productions, qui sont excellentes, et elle a fermé les yeux sur celle-ci, qui n'est digne ni d'elle ni de vous." Greuze, greatly incensed, quarrelled with his confreres, and ceased to exhibit until, in 1804, the Revolution had thrown open the doors of the Academy to all the world.
In the following year, on the 4th of March 1805, he died in the Louvre in great poverty. He had been in receipt of considerable wealth, which he had dissipated by extravagance and bad management, so that during his closing years he was forced even to solicit commissions which his enfeebled powers no longer enabled him to carry out with success. The brilliant reputation which Greuze acquired seems to have been due, not to his accomplishments as a painter for his practice, but is evidently that current in his own debut to the character of the subjects which he treated. That return to nature which inspired Rousseau's attacks upon an artificial civilization demanded expression in art.
Diderot, in Le Fils naturel et le père de famille, tried to turn the vein of domestic drama to account on the stage; that which he tried and failed to do Greuze, in painting, achieved with extraordinary success, although his works, like the plays of Diderot, were affected by that very artificiality against which they protested. The touch of melodramatic exaggeration, however, which runs through them finds an apology in the firm and brilliant play of line, in the freshness and vigour of the flesh tints, in the enticing softness of expression, by the alluring air of health and youth, by the sensuous attractions, in short, with which Greuze invests his lessons of bourgeois morality. As Diderot said of "La Bonne mère", il a prêché à la population; and a certain piquancy of contrast is the result which never fails to obtain admirers.
"La Jeune Fille à l'agneau" fetched, indeed, at the Pourtal's sale in 1865, no less than 1,000,000 francs. One of Greuze's pupils, Madame Le Doux, imitated with success the manner of her master; his daughter and grand-daughter, Madame de Valory, also inherited some traditions of his talent. Madame de Valory published in 1813 a comédie-vaudeville, Greuze, ou l'accorde de village, to which she prefixed a notice of her grandfather's life and works, and the Salons of Diderot also contain, besides many other particulars, the story at full length of Greuze's quarrel with the Academy. Four of the most distinguished engravers of that date, Massard père, Flipart, Gaillard and Levasseur, were specially entrusted by Greuze with the reproduction of his subjects, but there are also excellent prints by other engravers, notably by Cars and Le Bas.

119 Jean-Baptiste Greuze Paintings

Head of a Young Girl, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Head of a Young Girl undated

Paper Print
$48.02
SKU: JBG-7356
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: unknown
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Le Geste Napolitain, 1757 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Le Geste Napolitain 1757

Oil Painting
$3089
Canvas Print
$85.81
SKU: JBG-7357
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 73 x 94.3 cm
Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts, USA

A Young Girl Lifting a Chest, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

A Young Girl Lifting a Chest undated

Oil Painting
$1039
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: JBG-7358
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: unknown
Musee de Picardie, Amiens, France

Portrait of a Young Man, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Young Man undated

Oil Painting
$1076
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: JBG-7359
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: unknown
Musee de Picardie, Amiens, France

Self Portrait, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Self Portrait undated

Oil Painting
$1441
Canvas Print
$60.31
SKU: JBG-7360
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 73 x 59 cm
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

The Milkmaid, c.1780/84 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

The Milkmaid c.1780/84

Oil Painting
$2216
Canvas Print
$61.84
SKU: JBG-7361
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 106 x 86 cm
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

The Paralytic (Filial Piety), 1763 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

The Paralytic (Filial Piety) 1763

Oil Painting
$6927
Canvas Print
$60.31
SKU: JBG-7362
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 115 x 146 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Souvenir (Fidelity), c.1787/89 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

The Souvenir (Fidelity) c.1787/89

Oil Painting
$1588
Canvas Print
$55.79
SKU: JBG-7363
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 52.2 x 42.3 cm
The Wallace Collection, London, United Kingdom

Portrait of Sophie Arnould, c.1786 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of Sophie Arnould c.1786

Oil Painting
$1468
Canvas Print
$62.81
SKU: JBG-7364
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 61 x 50.4 cm
The Wallace Collection, London, United Kingdom

The Letter Writer, c.1800/06 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

The Letter Writer c.1800/06

Oil Painting
$1225
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: JBG-7365
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 40.5 x 33.2 cm
The Wallace Collection, London, United Kingdom

Girl with a Blue Ribbon, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Girl with a Blue Ribbon undated

Oil Painting
$1059
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: JBG-7366
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: unknown
Musee des Beaux Arts, Rennes, France

Young Girl, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Young Girl undated

Oil Painting
$1087
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: JBG-7367
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: unknown
Private Collection

Portrait of Denis Diderot, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of Denis Diderot undated

Oil Painting
$1205
Canvas Print
$52.83
SKU: JBG-7368
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: unknown
Private Collection

Citizen Bernard Dubard, 1799 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Citizen Bernard Dubard 1799

Oil Painting
$1371
Canvas Print
$91.00
SKU: JBG-7369
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 66.7 x 54 cm
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California, USA

Study of a Young Boy, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Study of a Young Boy undated

Paper Print
$48.02
SKU: JBG-7370
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 36.9 x 29.4 cm
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California, USA

The Letter, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

The Letter undated

Oil Painting
$1533
Canvas Print
$105.84
SKU: JBG-7371
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 71 x 59 cm
Archangelsk Museum of Fine Arts, Archangelsk, Russia

Self Portrait, c.1780/90 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Self Portrait c.1780/90

Oil Painting
$1367
Canvas Print
$54.38
SKU: JBG-7372
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 55.5 x 46 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Head of a Young Girl in a Bonnet, c.1760/68 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Head of a Young Girl in a Bonnet c.1760/68

Oil Painting
$1100
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: JBG-7373
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 41 x 33 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Young Girl in a Lilac Tunic, c.1770/90 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Young Girl in a Lilac Tunic c.1770/90

Oil Painting
$1061
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: JBG-7374
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 38 x 31 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

The Laundress, 1761 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

The Laundress 1761

Oil Painting
$1901
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: JBG-7375
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 40.6 x 33 cm
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, USA

The Punished Son, 1778 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

The Punished Son 1778

Oil Painting
$6510
Canvas Print
$60.58
SKU: JBG-7376
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 130 x 163 cm
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

The Paternal Curse or The Ungrateful Son, 1777 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

The Paternal Curse or The Ungrateful Son 1777

Oil Painting
$6901
Canvas Print
$60.31
SKU: JBG-7377
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 130 x 162 cm
Louvre Museum, Paris, France

Young Woman in a White Hat (Detail), c.1780 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Young Woman in a White Hat (Detail) c.1780

Canvas Print
$52.44
SKU: JBG-7378
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: unknown
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts, USA

Lovers Profiting from the Drowsiness of the Grandmother, a.1785 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Lovers Profiting from the Drowsiness of the Grandmother a.1785

Paper Print
$48.02
SKU: JBG-7379
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 32.6 x 51.2 cm
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Massachusetts, USA

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