Jean François de Troy (27 January 1679, Paris – 26 January 1752, Rome) was a French Rococo easel and fresco painter, draughtsman and tapestry designer. One of France's leading history painters in his time, he was equally successful with his decorative paintings, genre scenes and portraits. He was the inventor of the tableaux de modes ('paintings of fashions'), which attempted to provide a spirited portrayal of contemporary fashions, pastimes and manners.
He was the Director of the French Academy in Rome from 1738.
He was a scion of a family of painters. His father was the portrait painter François de Troy (1645–1730). His father was his first teacher. After he failed to win the Prix de Rome, he went at his father's expense to Italy from 1699 to 1706. He stayed initially in Rome, where he was given a room at the French Academy. He also visited northern Italian cities. He was at the same time aggregated and admitted to the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in July 1708, presumably on the strength of his composition Niobe and her Children (Musée Fabre) but certainly not without a little help of his father who was then the director of that institution.
He undertook commissions for the Palace of Versailles and the Palace of Fontainebleau between 1724 and 1737. In 1738 he left France for Rome following his appointment as Director of the French Academy in Rome. He resided the rest of his life in Rome. He was also elected as an honorary member of the Roman Academy of St Luke, and subsequently appointed briefly its director in 1744.
De Troy was twice ennobled in his lifetime, the first time when he bought the office of the secrétaire du roi ('secretary to the King') and a second time on the award of the ordre de Saint Michel. According to contemporary reports he lived a luxurious life style in Rome and entertained guests from the higher social circles in Rome.
De Troy met with tragedy in his personal life: his wife died at a young age and all of his seven children died. Jean François de Troy died on 26 January 1752 in Rome.
Jean François de Troy forged a successful career with his large-formate historical and allegorical compositions. His history paintings and mythological scenes were executed in a colourful and fluent style, which was indebted to both Veronese and Peter Paul Rubens. An example is his allegorical Time Unveiling Truth (1733, National Gallery, London).
During his residence in Rome, de Troy was also active as a fresco painter. He made a fresco in the north aisle of the ancient basilica Santi Bonifacio ed Alessio depicting Saint Gerolamo Emiliani introducing orphans to the Virgin.
His modern reputation relies less on his large history and mythological paintings than on his smaller, (cabinet-sized) scenes of elegant social life, which he painted in Paris between 1725 and 1738.These pictures depict fashionable people from his time in parks or interior settings who are engaged in courting, card playing, or reading to each other. While based on the fêtes galantes of Watteau and Nicolas Lancret and on 17th-century Dutch genre painting, de Troy's compositions distinguish themselves through their detailed rendering of clothing and furnishings. The dress of the protagonists discloses their high social status. These tableaux de mode are also characterized by the meticulous handling of the paint and their luxurious and modish qualities.
While Watteau's 'fête galantes' were filled with a sense of mystery and timelessness, de Troy's tableaux de mode were intended to provide a more realistic depiction of contemporary fashions, pastimes and manners. He was able to capture in these compositions the more relaxed behavior of the higher social classes following the death of Louis XIV in 1715 as shown in new fashions and manners.
These compositions are believed to be based on de Troy's personal experiences as he was an active member of the fashionable world he depicted.The closeness to Watteau is evidenced by the fact that his The Alarm, or the Gouvernante Fidèle (1723, Victoria and Albert Museum, London) was given to Watteau in the 19th century.
De Troy’s tableaux de mode responded to the artistic preferences of a new clientele for art in France: successful bankers and financiers representing a new bourgeois class. They also reflected the developing taste for a new sensuality, which was taken even further during the second half of the 17th century in the libertine philosophy and in texts such as Les Liaisons dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos and the Philosophy in the Bedroom by Marquis de Sade.
Jean-François de Troy produced the designs for two sets of tapestries which were woven by the Gobelins. Each set consists of seven tapestries. One recounts the Story of Esther (1737–40) and the other the Story of Jason (1743–46).The Story of Esther designs were so successful that they were woven eight times in the 18th century. The cartoons for the tapestries were exhibited to great acclaim. In his tapestry designs de Troy abandoned narrative clarity in favour of a profusion of picturesque and anecdotal detail and brilliant colour effects.
Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin was an 18th-century French painter. He is considered a master of still life, and is also noted for his genre paintings which depict kitchen maids, children, and domestic activities. Carefully balanced composition, soft diffusion of light, and granular impasto characterize his work.
Rococo, less commonly Roccoco or Late Baroque, is an exceptionally ornamental and theatrical style of architecture, art and decoration which combines asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding, white and pastel colors, sculpted molding, and trompe-l'œil frescoes to create surprise and the illusion of motion and drama. It is often described as the final expression of the Baroque movement.
François Boucher was a French painter, draughtsman and etcher, who worked in the Rococo style. Boucher is known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes, decorative allegories, and pastoral scenes. He was perhaps the most celebrated painter and decorative artist of the 18th century.
Jean-Antoine Watteau was a French painter and draughtsman whose brief career spurred the revival of interest in colour and movement, as seen in the tradition of Correggio and Rubens. He revitalized the waning Baroque style, shifting it to the less severe, more naturalistic, less formally classical, Rococo. Watteau is credited with inventing the genre of fêtes galantes, scenes of bucolic and idyllic charm, suffused with a theatrical air. Some of his best known subjects were drawn from the world of Italian comedy and ballet.
Bernard van Orley, also called Barend or Barent van Orley, Bernaert van Orley or Barend van Brussel, was a versatile Flemish artist and representative of Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, who was equally active as a designer of tapestries and, at the end of his life, stained glass. Although he never visited Italy, he belongs to the group of Italianizing Flemish painters called the Romanists, who were influenced by Italian Renaissance painting, in his case especially by Raphael.
The French Academy in Rome is an Academy located in the Villa Medici, within the Villa Borghese, on the Pincio in Rome, Italy.
Adam Frans van der Meulen or Adam-François van der Meulen was a Flemish painter and draughtsman who was particularly known for his scenes of military campaigns and conquests. Van der Meulen also painted portraits, hunting scenes, paintings of chateaux and landscapes. He created designs for prints and cartoons for tapestries.
Jean-Baptiste Oudry was a French Rococo painter, engraver, and tapestry designer. He is particularly well known for his naturalistic pictures of animals and his hunt pieces depicting game.
François de Troy was a French painter and engraver who became principal painter to King James II in exile at Saint-Germain-en-Laye and Director of the Académie Royale de peinture et de sculpture.
François Lemoyne or François Le Moine was a French rococo painter. He was a winner of the Prix de Rome, professor of the Académie de peinture et de sculpture, and Premier peintre du Roi to Louis XV. He was tutor to Charles-Joseph Natoire and François Boucher.
Events from the year 1752 in art.
Charles-Antoine Coypel was a French painter, art commentator, and playwright. He became court painter to the French king and director of the Académie Royale. He inherited the title of Garde des tableaux et dessins du roi, a function which combined the role of director and curator of the king's art collection. He was mainly active in Paris.
The Embarkation for Cythera is a painting by the French painter Jean-Antoine Watteau. It is also known as Voyage to Cythera and Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera. Watteau submitted this work to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture as his reception piece in 1717. The painting is now in the Louvre in Paris. A second version of the work, sometimes called Pilgrimage to Cythera to distinguish it, was painted by Watteau about 1718 or 1719 and is in the Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin.
The Premier peintre du Roi was a court painter position within the administration of the Bâtiments du Roi of the Département de la Maison du Roi in France under the Ancien Régime. Its holder occupied a similar position to that of Premier architecte du Roi. The holder was not in charge of any other court staff, and the role was often without a holder.
Francisque Millet, also known as Jean-François Milée or Millet I, was a Flemish-French landscape painter of the Baroque era.
Michel François André-Bardon was a French history painter and etcher.
Edmé-François Gersaint (1694–1750) was a Parisian marchand-mercier (merchant) who specialised in the sale of works of art and luxury goods and who is noted for revolutionising the art market by preparing, for the first time, detailed catalogs with descriptions of the work and biographies of the artist.
Jean Barbault (1718–1762) was a French painter, etcher and printmaker, who worked in Rome for most of his life. He is noted for paintings of local people, wearing traditional costumes or Oriental costumes and for his work documenting iconic Roman monuments and antiquities which were published in two volumes.
Charles-Michel-Ange Challe, born in Paris on February 13, 1718 and died January 8, 1778 is a painter, draftsman and French architect.
Jeroboam Sacrificing to Idols is a history painting by the French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, in oil on canvas. It won him the highly prestigious Prix de Rome for painting on 26 August 1752, shortly after he turned 20 years old; this "precocious triumph" was even more remarkable as he had not received the usual training at the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. The painted surface measures 111.5 by 143.5 centimetres. It was retained by the Académie until that institution was abolished in the French Revolution and is now part of the collection of the successor Académie des Beaux-Arts.
Christophe Leribault, Jean-François de Troy, 1679–1752, Éditions Arthena, 2002, ( ISBN 2-903239-30-4).