(b Paris, March 6, 1714; d Paris, May 15, 1789).
French painter, printmaker, draughtsman and administrator. Although he painted a number of rustic genre scenes and was an occasional designer of vases and picture frames, he was principally active as a painter of large-scale history and religious works. In this aspect of his output he forms a link in the 18th-century tradition of French history painting that runs from Jean Jouvenet to the Neo-classicism of Jacques-Louis David.
Pierre’s father, a wealthy Parisian jeweller, consented to his artistic ambitions and provided financial security. Pierre studied with Charles-Joseph Natoire and won the Prix de Rome in 1734. The fresh, spirited quality of his etching Chinese Masquerade of the French Art Students in Rome (San Francisco, CA, Achenbach Found. Graph. A.), dated 1735, belies the fact that he probably did not arrive in Rome in time to witness the February carnival. Under the directors of the Académie de France in Rome, Nicolas Vleughels and ...