Oil on an oak panel
This painting is a study for the Psyche kept at the Wallace Collection.
Period : circa 1786
Painter : Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805)
Dimensions : 1 foot 2 inches. X 1 foot 1 1/4inches.
Certificate established by Monsieur Edgar MUNHALL
Bibliography : J. Ingamells, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Pictures, III, French before 1815, London, 1989, pp. 180-181, 201, 388, 440.
Jean-Baptiste Greuze :
Jean-Baptiste Greuze is the son of a roofer from Tournus. He was the apprentice of the painter Charles Grandon. Around 1750, he attends Natoire’s courses at the Académie where he is accredited in 1755 thanks to his painting : « The duped blindman » (in French « l’aveugle trompé »). He becomes successful and gains a substancial though envied notoriety as a genre painter and a portraitist.
From 1755 to 1757 he travels in Italy along with Abbé Gougenot. As he returns he befriends with Diderot whom he is the protégé. Diderot confesses in his notes of the Salon that he prefers Greuze rather than Boucher. Greuze works, both paintings and drawings are then sold to a French and foreign clientele (mostly Russian) and reach very high prices.
In 1769, Jean Baptiste Greuze is accepted at the Académie as a genre painter even though he has decided to fulfil the academic requirements and to paint his famous « Septimus Severus and Caracalla ». This is such a failure that he was not to enter the Salon du Louvres until the French revolution. He then becomes bankrupt due to this event. And still he presents some paintings at the 1800, 1801 and 1804 Salons. But time has changed for the benefit of artists such as Vien or David.
Along with his painting his work of drawing is significant.