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France • 1685−1766

Biography and information

Born into a family of artists. The first lessons of painting Jean-Marc Nattier received from his father, then attended drawing courses at the Royal Academy. At the age of fifteen Nattier was awarded the first art prize of the Paris Academy.

In 1717 Nattier went on a trip to Holland, met in Amsterdam with Peter and drew portraits of the king and the Russian Empress Catherine. Jean-Marc Nattier spent almost all his life in Paris.

Having received art education under the guidance of his father, the portrait painter Mark H. (1642-1705), and the Paris Academy of arts, was improved by copying the paintings of Rubens in the Luxembourg Palace and published in the 1710 collection of engravings from these paintings, under the title: "Galerie du palais du Luxembourg, peinte par Rubens, dessin ée et gravé par N. e par les plus illustres graveurs". In 1713, for the painting "Perseus turns some Phineas to stone", was adopted by the members of the said Academy, and subsequently was among her professors. In 1715 Lefort convinced N. to go along with him to Amsterdam, where then was Peter the Great. Being graciously accepted by the Russian Tsar, the artist wrote several portraits of persons of his retinue, the painting "battle of Poltava" (SPb., in the Winter Palace) and in the Hague, the portrait of Empress Catherine I (in the Romanov gallery of the Winter Palace); he began, but did not graduate from a portrait of the king himself, who called him to Russia, where, however, N. to go did not dare because of the love of France. Lost in 1720, due to a failed financial transaction, almost all his fortune, N. since that time has devoted himself exclusively to portrait painting, and executed a countless number of portraits of members of the Royal family, representatives, especially the representatives of the French aristocracy and prominent people of contemporary era, such as the daughters of Louis XV, Queen Maria Leszczynski (in the Versailles historical Museum), Princess Adelaide French (Louvre Museum), Mrs. Pompadour in the form of Aurora (in a Marseille Museum), dancer Camargo (in the Nantes Museum), Duke of Richelieu, Marshal of Saxony, Ms. Allonville in the form of Flora and etc. for Portrait work as comparatively few historical paintings of N., differ a brilliant color, graceful statement pieces, beautiful styling of the drapery and General refinement of execution. Most of his portraits are engraved from the best contemporary artists.