Jean-Marc Nattier

Jean -Marc Nattier ( born March 17, 1685 in Paris, † November 7, 1766 ) was a French painter of the Rococo. At the height of his career he was gallant painter of the ladies of the court of Louis XV ..


Nattier was born as the son of Marc Nattier portraitist and miniature painter Marie Courtois. His brother was the painter Jean -Baptiste Nattier. His first artistic steps he learned from his father and his uncle, the history painter Jean Jouvenet. Showed early talent: the age of fifteen he won the prize of the Académie royale for his drawings. However, he renounced the gained space at the Académie de France in Rome and produced instead a series of drawings by Peter Paul Rubens ' Medici cycle in the Palais du Luxembourg; the publication of engravings after his drawings ( engraved by Pierre -Jean Mariette ) in 1710 made ​​the first known Nattier. His later fame has apparently been foretold to him by Louis XIV when he saw some of Nattier's drawings ". Carry on, Nattier, and you are a great man "

1703 wrote Nattier as a student at the Académie royale. In 1715 he was appointed as a provisional member, on 29 October 1718 the spigot Perseus Phineus to stone and his companions with the head of Medusa ( Musée de Tours ) admitted as a full member of the Academy. In 1752 he was appointed professor.

In 1716 he went with the Messenger of Peter the Great to Amsterdam, where he painted some personalities of the Russian court. Then he went to The Hague in order to portray the Empress Catherine I. ( 1717, Hermitage, St. Petersburg), which he in turn fell to the benevolence of the Czar, whose portrait he finally drew back in Paris. Also a representation of the Battle of Poltava he made on behalf of the Czar. However, when he whose offer to come to Russia turned down, Peter the Great came back on him and left Paris without the King portraits to pay.

The collapse of the banking system of John Law in 1720 also meant for Nattier the loss of his fortune, so he had to concentrate on the more lucrative portraiture, in which he gained a great reputation fast. He was the official portraitist of the d' Orléans family, and in 1748 a portrait painter at the court of Louis XV .. Gradually he raised an old genre back to life, that of allegorical portraits, in which he that a living person as a god of Olympus or an allegorical figure represented. This graceful portraits were among the ladies of the court of Louis XV. very popular, partly because they allowed to represent the model Seated despite avoidance of any possible imperfections in their personality. He was also "Histoire Portrait" the inventor of. A good example is the portrait of royal mistress Madame de Pompadour as Diana. From the 1740s the tastes and Nattier to changing portraits were simple, such as the portrait of Maria Leszczyńska of 1748 (including Versailles and the Musée des Beaux -Arts, Dijon ) - the last portrait for which the queen sat model.

Jean Philippe François d' Orléans, Nattier commissioned to finish the facilities of his city palace, begun by Jean Raoux. After the death of his principal, the Prince of Conti sold its entire collection of paintings and other possessions. Horrified by this sell his works by auction, Nattier auctioned even some of his best paintings.

From 1737 to 1763 presented Nattier at the Paris Salon, where he was praised for his paintings and pastels, as well as its fine and soft colors.

In later years, his star began to decline and its patrons turned away from him. His son, had great hopes for his career painter Nattier drowned, as a fellow of the Academy in Rome in Tiber. Two of his daughters married the painter Charles -Michel -Ange Challe and Louis Tocqué; the latter should Nattier's most talented student. The last four years of his life were spent ill and bedridden. In 1766 he died 81 years old and impoverished.

Among the personalities of the time portrayed Nattier, were among others the Maréchal de Saxe ( Dresden Art Gallery ), Empress Maria Theresa of Austria ( Museum of Brussels), Louis, Dauphin of France, his wife Maria Theresa of Spain, the daughters of the Regent Philippe II, Mademoiselle de Beaujolais, Mademoiselle de Clermont and Mademoiselle de Chartres. He also portrayed the eight daughters of King Louis XV. , Including Madame Henriette and Madame Adélaïde, whose portraits were exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1758 and today houses the Palace of Versailles.