Jean-Baptiste Santerre Biography1651-1717
French Baroque Painter
A pupil of Bon Boullogne, Santerre began his painting career at a portraitist, with a notable work being a portrait of Marie Leszczynska with the Maison de St Cyr in the background (now at the musee de Versailles). He won a major reputation thanks to his academies. His most notable work is his Susanna Bathing (Louvre), the diploma work executed by him in 1704, when he was received into the Academie (though the version now in the Louvre seems to be a copy by Santerre of the original). Although his religious paintings lacked inspiration, the Susanna contributed to Santerre's fifty year reputation as a painter of the erotic nude, in which field he was the forerunner to Francois Boucher (1730-1770) and Jean-Honore Fragonard (1732-1806). The Susanna and his Portrait of a Lady in Venetian Costume (Louvre) give a good impression of Santerre's taste and of his elaborate, refined and careful method.