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Charles Natoire

1700 Nîmes
1777 Castel Gandolfo (bei Rom)

The rococo painter and etcher Charles Joseph Natoire was born on March 3, 1700 in Nîmes. His initial studies were with Louis Galloche (1670–1761), the king’s painter and professor at the Académie Royale, in 1717. He later studied under François Lemoyne (1688–1737). In 1721, Natoire won the Rome Prize with the work "Sacrifice of Manoah" and stayed in Rome from 1723 to 1729 as a scholarship holder. This is where he won the first prize of the Roman Academy S. Luca with "Moses Returning from Sinai". In the years 1731 to 1735, he decorated the castle La Chapelle-Godefroy near Nogent-sur-Seine with nine paintings for Controller-General of Finances Philibert Orry (1689–1747).
With the admissions piece of "Venus Commanding from Vulcan", Charles Natoire was accepted as a member of the Parisian Académie Royale in 1734. The artist’s major work is considered to be the painting of the Salons ovale at Hôtel de Soubise (now called the Archives Nationales). He worked on this together with Charles-Philippe-Amédée Vanloo (1719 – 95), Pierre-Charles Trémolières (1703–39), and his rival François Boucher (1703–70).
Charles Natoire personally prepared eight paintings with scenes from the story of Psyche during the years 1737 to 1739. At the same time, he created a sequence with 10 compositions on Don Quixote as the model for the Beauvais tapestries and a cycle with scenes from the Telemach saga for La Chapelle-Godefroy. As the model for the Parisian Gobelins, Charles Natoire began a series with scenes from the story of Marcus Antonius (Mark Anthony, 83 B.C. – 30 A.D.) in 1741.
From 1746 to 1750, the artist directed the illusionist decoration for the chapel in the Hôpital des Enfants-Trouvés. At the start of his second stay in Rome, which was recorded beginning in 1751, Charles Natoire was appointed as the director of the Académie Français in Rome. He was raised to the peerage in 1753. In the same year, he received the commission to produce a painting for the chapel St.-Suaire in the cathedral at Besançon. For San Luigi dei Francesi, the national church of the French in Rome, Natoire completed the fresco "Apotheosis of Saint Louis" from 1754 to 1756.
Charles-Joseph Natoire stayed at Castel Gandolfo beginning in 1774. He died here on August 29, 1777.

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