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Joshua Drapkin

(b Lyon, May 24, 1728; d Lyon, April 26, 1808).

French painter and draughtsman. He was an extremely varied and prolific artist who became fashionable early in his career. First trained by Daniel Sarrabat in Lyon, Pillement received a good grounding in the Rococo style of genre painting exemplified in the work of Antoine Watteau and François Boucher. After a brief spell at the Gobelins, in 1745 he left for Madrid. He stayed there for three years, and his work was much appreciated both in Spain and in Portugal, which he visited often. He supervised sets of Rococo singeries and chinoiseries painted for Quinta de Alegria, the house at Seteais, near Sintra, of the Dutch consul in Lisbon, Jan Gildemeester, and soon after he was offered the title of Painter to the King. He declined this honour and instead travelled to London. There he stayed for the next 10 years, during which time he fully exploited the English taste for landscapes. In addition to his brightly coloured, artificial landscapes, inspired by Nicolaes Berchem and Claude-Joseph Vernet, Pillement painted fancy pieces, which were theatrical in composition and inspired by prints rather than nature. In ...