Jean-Marc Nattier


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(b Paris, 17 Mar. 1685; d Paris, 7 Nov. 1766).

French portrait painter. His father, Marc (c.1642–1705), was a painter and his mother, Marie (née Courtois) (c.1655–1703), was a miniaturist. He was one of the most successful artists at the court of Louis XV, excelling in the vogue for painting women in mythological or allegorical fancy dress—or undress—transforming his sitters into goddesses (Mlle de Lambesc as Minerva, 1732, Louvre, Paris). The pastel-like delicacy of his handling led to the accusation that he ‘painted with make-up’. His portraits are little concerned with individual characterization, but they show fluency, vivacity, and a relaxed charm. Towards the end of his career taste began to turn against him and some of his later work shows signs of fatigue. His brother Jean-Baptiste (1678–1726) was also a painter; he committed suicide after being expelled by the Académie Royale.

Subjects: Art.

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