(b Paris, 1611; d Villiers-le-Bel, nr. Paris, 16 Jan. 1668). French painter and writer, active in Italy (mainly Rome) for much of his career, 1634–55. His few surviving paintings are unremarkable works in the manner of Poussin, and he is chiefly remembered for his Latin poem De arte graphica, which sets out the doctrines of French classicism in epigrammatic form. It was published in 1668, soon after his death, and a French translation by his friend Roger de Piles appeared later in the same year. De Piles included copious notes in which he emphasized the importance of colour that Dufresnoy had rather tentatively asserted. There were also translations into English (1695, by the poet John Dryden), German (1699), Italian (1713), and Dutch (1733), and it remained influential as an expression of academic theory throughout the 18th century; further English translations appeared in 1754 and 1783 (the latter with annotations by Reynolds).
From The Oxford Dictionary of Art in Oxford Reference.