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 Greuze, Jean-Baptiste
Greuze, Jean-Baptiste (1725-1805). French painter. He had a great success at the 1755 Salon with his Father Reading the Bible to His Children (Louvre, Paris) and went on to win enormous popularity with similar sentimental and melodramatic genre scenes. His work was praised by Diderot as `morality in paint', and as representing the highest ideal of painting in his day. He also wished to succeed as a history painter, but his Septimius Severus Reproaching Caracalla (Louvre, 1769) was rejected by the Salon, causing him acute embarrassment. Much of Greuze's later work consisted of titillating pictures of young girls, which contain thinly veiled sexual allusions under their surface appearance of mawkish innocence; The Broken Pitcher (Louvre), for example, alludes to loss of virginity.

With the swing of taste towards Neoclassicism his work went out of fashion and he sank into obscurity at the Revolution in 1789. At the very end of his career he received a commission to paint a portrait of Napoleon (Versailles, 1804-05), but he died in poverty. His huge output is particularly well represented in the Louvre, the Wallace Collection in London, the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, and in the museum dedicated to him in Tournus, his native town.


774 x 600 49.3K
49.3K, 774 x 600

The Village Betrothal
Painted: 1761
The Paralytic
(The Fruits of a Good Education)
Painted: 1763
Oil on canvas
The Hermitage
St. Petersburg

590 x 642 63.6K
63.6K, 590 x 642

485 x 600 31.4K
31.4K, 485 x 600

Portrait of Count Stroganov as a Child
Painted: 1778
Oil on canvas
The Hermitage
St. Petersburg

The Wicked Son Punished
Painted: 1778
Louvre

638 x 500 47.2K
47.2K, 638 x 500