Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808).
Before the storm and Fishing.
Pair of gouaches on canvas.
Signed lower right
Jean-Baptiste Pillement, known as Jean Pillement, born on May 24, 1728 in Lyon where he died on April 26, 1808, is a French painter and aquafortist. He was one of the great representatives of the Rococo movement throughout Europe, painter of the king of Poland and Queen Marie-Antoinette.
Born into a family of painters and originally from the city of Lyon, he did part of his studies in Paris before entering the Gobelins factory as a draftsman. A great traveler, he left at the age of seventeen to Spain and Portugal to work as a decorative painter. In Portugal, he was even offered the title of "King's painter", which he turned down in order to work on the furnishings of the castle of King Stanislaus II of Poland in the late 1760's. He was appointed "First painter to the King of Poland" in 1768, where he decorated the Chinese salon and produced a large number of landscapes, especially gouaches. In Vienna, the Prince of Liechtenstein bought ten works from him and he executed numerous commissions. It is also known that he was appreciated in England where he exhibited at the Society of Artists and the Free Society of Arts from 1760 to 1791, making him a fashionable painter for his landscapes in oil as well as for his pastels or gouaches, reproduced and engraved by many young artists of his time.
He exhibited in Paris at the Salon de la correspondance in 1782, two gouaches with the same subject matter as ours since they are described as representing "landscapes with figures of men, animals and waterfalls". And he was appointed "painter to the queen" Marie-Antoinette in 1778, he painted several decorative panels at the Petit Trianon.
In the 1780's he was in Portugal, where he founded a school, and then in Spain. However, he died in poverty following the French Revolution and the decline of the roccoco fashion at the end of the 18th century.
As a decorator, Pillement produced a body of work that combines both sinister motifs and picturesque landscapes. Pillement's landscape formula was so successful at the end of the Ancien Régime that he was able to devote himself exclusively to this genre, which was considered minor, and to achieve the same fame as the great history painters. He depicted rugged, fantasized landscapes, sometimes dramatized by the characters that animate them, like our painting of the storm, which seem to announce certain aspects of romantic painting. While the bluish coloring that tints most of his paintings is inspired by the Dutch landscape painters of the seventeenth century.
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