Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Greuze

Jean-Baptiste Greuze Painting Reproductions Gallery 4 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

Girl Leaning on Her Hand, c.1750/99 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Girl Leaning on Her Hand c.1750/99

Oil Painting
$1143
Canvas Print
$50.10
SKU: JBG-7404
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 46 x 38 cm
The Wallace Collection, London, United Kingdom

Flying Cupid with a Torch, c.1786/96 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Flying Cupid with a Torch c.1786/96

Oil Painting
$1123
Canvas Print
$50.10
SKU: JBG-7405
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 27.2 x 22 cm
The Wallace Collection, London, United Kingdom

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

Portrait of a Young Woman undated

Oil Painting
$1128
Canvas Print
$50.10
SKU: JBG-7406
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 44.5 x 36.2 cm
Private Collection

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

Young Girl with a Spaniel undated

Oil Painting
$1291
Canvas Print
$50.10
SKU: JBG-7407
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 45.7 x 38 cm
Private Collection

Head of a Startled Boy, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Head of a Startled Boy undated

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7408
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 41.8 x 31.7 cm
Private Collection

A Young Peasant Boy, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

A Young Peasant Boy undated

Oil Painting
$1145
Canvas Print
$50.10
SKU: JBG-7409
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 47.9 x 39.1 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

A Child with an Apple, undated by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

A Child with an Apple undated

Oil Painting
$1204
Canvas Print
$50.10
SKU: JBG-7410
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 40.6 x 32.1 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

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

A Girl undated

Oil Painting
$1256
Canvas Print
$50.10
SKU: JBG-7411
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 45.7 x 38.1 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

A Girl, c.1765/80 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

A Girl c.1765/80

Oil Painting
$1308
Canvas Print
$50.10
SKU: JBG-7412
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 47 x 39.4 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Portrait of a Man, 1763 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of a Man 1763

Oil Painting
$1452
Canvas Print
$62.94
SKU: JBG-7413
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 64.7 x 54.8 cm
National Gallery, London, United Kingdom

Voluptuousness (Girl with Dove), 1790 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Voluptuousness (Girl with Dove) 1790

Oil Painting
$1228
Canvas Print
$50.10
SKU: JBG-7414
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: unknown
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia

Little Girl Pouting, c.1775/00 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Little Girl Pouting c.1775/00

Oil Painting
$1186
Canvas Print
$50.10
SKU: JBG-7415
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 42 x 33 cm
Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois, USA

Portrait of Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne, c.1790/93 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Portrait of Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne c.1790/93

Oil Painting
$1441
Canvas Print
$63.50
SKU: JBG-7416
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 60.6 x 50.1 cm
Dallas Museum of Art, Texas, USA

Head of Caracalla, c.1768 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Head of Caracalla c.1768

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7417
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 38.8 x 30.3 cm
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA

The Guilty and Repentant Daughter, c.1776/79 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

The Guilty and Repentant Daughter c.1776/79

Paper Print
$76.54
SKU: JBG-7418
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 49.8 x 64.3 cm
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA

Young Woman in an Artchair, c.1765 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Young Woman in an Artchair c.1765

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7419
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 39.9 x 32.3 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Study for 'The Paralytic'. Study of a Boy Carrying a Cup, c.1760 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Study for 'The Paralytic'. Study of a Boy ... c.1760

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7420
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 43.3 x 29.9 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Study for 'The Paralytic'. Head of an Old Man, c.1760 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Study for 'The Paralytic'. Head of an Old Man c.1760

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7421
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 49.3 x 40 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Head of a Woman in a Night Cap, 1772 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Head of a Woman in a Night Cap 1772

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7422
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 43.7 x 32.8 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Young Woman Seated in an Armchair, 1765 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Young Woman Seated in an Armchair 1765

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7423
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 42.5 x 32.5 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Study of a Standing Girl, 1765 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Study of a Standing Girl 1765

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7424
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 32 x 21.4 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Head of a Woman in a Hood, c.1760/70 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Head of a Woman in a Hood c.1760/70

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7425
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 38.9 x 31.1 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

 Study of a Man with His Arm Swung Back, b.1761 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Study of a Man with His Arm Swung Back b.1761

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7426
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 54.5 x 45 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Study of a Faun, b.1755 by Jean-Baptiste Greuze | Painting Reproduction

Study of a Faun b.1755

Paper Print
$47.71
SKU: JBG-7427
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Original Size: 41.3 x 33.4 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

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