François-Hubert Drouais


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(b Paris, 14 Dec. 1727; d Paris, 21 Oct. 1775).

French portrait painter. He trained under Boucher (among others) and became a rival to Nattier as a fashionable portraitist. His portraits have a gracious and artificial charm and at their best bear comparison with those of Boucher. He was particularly successful with children, but his best-known painting is probably the very grand portrait of Mme de Pompadour in the National Gallery, London (1763–4), completed after the sitter's death. His father and his son were painters. HubertDrouais (1699–1767) had a successful career as a miniaturist and pastel portraitist. GermainDrouais (1763–88) was J.-L. David's favourite pupil and won the Prix de Rome in 1784; David regarded him as his greatest potential rival (‘He alone could trouble my sleep’), but he died of smallpox aged 24.

Subjects: Art.

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