The portrait-painter Jean-Marc Nattier, called "Nattier le jeune", was born on March 17, 1685 in Paris. He received his first instruction from his father, the portrait-painter Marc Nattier (1642–1705). Nattier also attended the painting class of the Académie Royale and won the first prize here in 1703.
Around 1703, the artist worked in the Galerie du Palais du Luxembourg. Among others, he produced copies of the work of Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640). Together with his brother Jean-Baptiste Nattier (1678–1726), he created 24 red chalk drawings for the engraving work "La Galerie du palais du Luxembourg" that was published in 1710.
Jean-Marc Nattier was presumably also the student of Jean Louvenet (1644–1717), upon whose recommendation he was offered a position as a member of the Académie Français in Rome. But he rejected the offer and remained in Paris, where he continued his career.
In 1715, Nattier became an Agrée. He became a member of the Académie Royale in 1718 with the work "Perseus Turns Phineus to Stone". A trip to Holland in 1717 also took the artist to Amsterdam, where he painted portraits of the Russian Czar Peter the Great (1672–1725) and his second wife Catharine I (1683–1727). He also produced the Battle of Poltava for the czar (1717). Nattier received an offer to work at the Russian court from Peter the Great, but denied this request and returned to Paris.
In 1734, after the death of the painter Jean Raoux (1677–1734), Jean-Marc Nattier was appointed as the painter for the Grand Prior of the Order of Knights Templar. In 1737, he had his first success as a portrait painter in the salon with "Mademoiselle Lambesc as Minerva". From that time on, he exhibited on a regular basis here and established connections with the royal court.
In addition to the daughters of Louis XV (1710–74), Nattier also became the portrait painter of the royal mistresses, and finally also of the king and the queen. The artist frequently painted portraits of his models with the mask of mythological-allegorical characters.
Jean Marc Nattier died on November 7, 1766 in Paris.