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Ètienne Jeaurat

1699 Paris
1789 Versailles

The French painter and copperplate engraver Ètienne Jeaurat was born in Paris on 9th February 1699. He was a student of Nicolas Vleughels (1668–1737). Upon becoming director of the Académie de France, Vleughels took Ètienne Jeaurat to Rome with the former having a strong influence on his work during this period. In 1731, after returning to Paris, and after executing his painting ‚"Pyramus und Thisbe", Jeaurat became "Agréé" and in 1733, a full member of the Académie royale de peinture. Between 1739 and 1769, the artist regularly exhibited at the Louvre salon, and in 1782, the Salon de la Correspondance. Ètienne Jeaurat later became "Recteur", then "Chancelier", and from 1767, he occupied the office of "Gardien du Cabinet du Roi" in Versailles.
During the early stages of his career, he executed a large number of works with mythological themes. He also painted a series of eight scenes from Jean de la Fontaine’s fables (1621-95). Ètienne Jeaurat later devoted himself to contemporary genre painting, as well as still lifes, religious paintings and portraits.
Jeaurat’s genre and still life works so closely resemble Jean Siméon Chardin’s, that his copies of Chardin’s works are sometime mistakenly thought to be authentic. Unlike Chardin, however, Ètienne Jeaurat uses stronger anecdotal points and chose models from a higher social milieu. His work also lacks Chardin’s colouristic appeal. His work cannot ultimately be compared to Chardin’s. Jeaurat’s depictions of interiors, of families and conservatory scenes are nonetheless not without their charms. He is particularly successful at portraying the lively streets and squares of 18th century Paris, in particular in his paintings of the transportation of the prostitutes, to the hospital, the Paris carnival, the Place des Halles, the Place Maubert and the fights at the Fontäne. In 1745 his portrait of Voltaire became part of Madame Berne-Bellecourt’s collection.
His large historical paintings such as "Achilles departing to revenge the death of Patroclus" and "Christ gives the keys to St Peter" are less successful. He also drew sketches for the Parisian tapestries including the Watteau-esque "Marriage in the countryside", which was executed under royal commission and made into a tapestry by Pierre François Cozette (1714–1801) and Jean Audran (1667–1756).
Étienne Jeaurat died on 14th December 1789 in Versailles.

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