Jean-Jacques de Boissieu, born on November 30, 1736 in Lyon, was a French engraver and painter whose works are represented in many collections and museums throughout the world.
Even though his parents had planned for their son to become a judge, Boissieu decided upon the profession of an artist, to which he had already felt drawn as a child. He studied with the painters Jean-Charles Frontier and Lombard, as well as other teachers. But an allergy to oil forced him to give up painting. Instead, Boissieu turned to drawing. In 1758, he published he first work: Livre de griffonnements inventés et gravés par de Boissieu. He completed his artistic studies during a stay in Paris that lasted from 1761 to 1764. This was followed by a grand tour to Italy from 1765 to 1766, during which he accompanied the Duc de la Rochefoucauld. The artist also met Voltaire during this journey. De Boissieu completed many landscape drawings and drawings of the monuments in Italy.
When he returned to Lyon, he achieved great success with his works and gained the reputation as one of the last representatives of classic etching. According to the French artist encyclopedia Bénéziet, some people considered him to be the Rembrandt français because worked with his typical light-dark effects, especially in his later years. Among other works, De Boissieu created some of the plates for Diderot Encyclopedia. His specialties were expressive portraits and landscapes, particularly from the region of Lyon and Italy, but also reproductions of Dutch landscape perspectives based on Ruysdaël, van de Velde, and other. Boissieu created just a few paintings because of his allergy, but numerous drawings and engravings. His realistic style is similar to the Dutch School.
In 1771, Boissieu was appointed as the royal advisor and treasurer at the Department of Finance. In 1780, he was accepted into the Académie de Lyon. The artist is also considered to be the founder of the Lyon art school.
During the French Revolution, he was under the protection of Jacques-Louis David, and his copperplates were given legal protection.
In 1802, Boissieu became s member of the administrative commission for the art conservatory (Conservatoire des Arts). From 1806 to the year of his death in 1810, the artist was the mayor of Lentilly in the vicinity of Lyon. Jean-Jacques de Boissieu died on March 1, 1810 in Lyon.