Art Wednesday

Jean-Baptiste Greuze (21 August 1725 – 4 March 1805) was a French painter, who’s father (a carpenter) did not want his son to become an artist and would whipped him when he was caught drawing.  He ran away to Paris with another artist and found that no one wanted to employ him, as a result he became very poor. It wasn’t until his 30’s did things improve when he exhibited a painting at the Salon.

He did finally become one of the most popular painters of his time, but it didn't last and fared so badly in his later years, dying in poverty.  Just like in modern times, he married in haste (to one his most famous models - Anne Gabriel) to save her reputation and paid for it in money. He had been in receipt of considerable wealth, which he had dissipated by extravagance and bad management (as well as embezzlement by his wife), 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.

His pictures tended to have the touch of the melodramatic, as can be seen in these examples.  He  also presented his models with tenderness and feelings, don’t you think “Girl Mourning the Dying Bird” makes you feel sad.  Note that models don't look at the artists but are pre-occupied with something else.
Another forgotten artist.


  1. Never heard of this artist, but what a lot of emotion he captured in his art!! These are amazing, Jo! Once again, thanks for sharing!! :)

  2. Jo - what a wonderful and interesting post! These pictures are fabulous and they really do stir your emotion. I love he way you use your blog to educate us all on the fine arts!

    pordieti - why do I keep getting these hard words! - so not fair!

  3. I do like the third. I'm afraid that the dead animals in the first two don't do much for me. I tend to prefer my animals alive!

  4. I love your art series! It's wonderful learning new things this way. And you have picked such wonderful painters, if their life stories are a bit sad and sometimes tragic. Thank you for sharing all this with us!

  5. I think I vaguely remember hearing about this artist lol!
    wow, the emotion he captured in his works is amazing!
    Thanks for this!

  6. Sorry Val - next time no dead animals (I promise). Just pretend that they weren't dead when the artist was painting the pictures:)


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