Gabriel-François Doyen


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(1726–1806). French painter. He studied with Carle van Loo and in 1752 went to the French Academy in Rome where he fell under the spell of Raphael and the Bolognese painters of the 17th century. After his return to Paris he exhibited a series of enormous canvases of scenes from classical literature which enjoyed great critical acclaim; some, such as Venus Wounded by Diomedes (1761; St Petersburg, Hermitage), subsequently being bought by Empress Catherine of Russia. To a public more used to the light-hearted Rococo mythologies of Boucher, Doyen's work seemed to announce a new and more serious kind of painting, albeit one enriched, unlike that of his neoclassical successors, with Venetian-inspired colour and brushwork. Doyen's masterpiece is the frenetic, proto-Romantic Le Miracle des Ardents (Paris, S. Roch) of 1767. During the early years of the Revolution he was involved in the foundation of the French national museum in the Louvre (see under Paris), but in 1792 he went to Russia as professor at the St Petersburg Academy.

From The Oxford Companion to Western Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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