The portrait painter Jean-Baptiste Perronneau was born in 1714 in Paris. He is one of the most famous pastel portraitists of his age. Perronneau first learned the art of copperplate engraving with Laurent Cars (1699–1771). He may have possibly later been a student of Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700–77) and the portrait painter François-Hubert Drouais (1727–75).
In 1746, the artist had his salon début with a pastel portrait. In 1753, he became a full member of the Académie Royale de peinture et de sculpture. The portraits of Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686–1755) and Lambert-Sigisbert Adam the Elder (1700–59) served him as the admissions pieces. In the following year, Jean-Baptiste Perronneau married the daughter of the miniaturist Louis Fr. Aubert.
Starting in 1755, the artist mainly sought his clientele in the provinces and in other countries. Among other places, Jean-Baptiste Perronneau was active in Bordeaux, Orleans, Toulouse, Abbeville, and Lyon, as well as Italy, Holland, England, and Russia. However, he still continued to frequently spend time in Paris. Perronneau competed with the portraitist Maurice Quentin de La Tour (1704–88), who especially had the aristocracy as his clients. On the other hand, Perroneau’s models came almost exclusively from the bourgeois milieu that included Drouais, Cars, Oudry, and Gabriel Huquier (1695–1772), as well as the architects Jean-Michel Chevotet (1698-1772) and Robert Soyer and the collector Thomas-Aignan Desfriches (1715–1800). After 1779, the portraitist no longer exhibited his works in the salon.
Jean-Baptiste Perronneau died on November 19, 1783 in Amsterdam.