Old Pastel Master: Jean-Baptiste Perronneau

Jean-Baptiste Perronneau pastel works

Jean-Baptiste Perronneau (1715-1783) was a French painter who specialized in portraits executed in pastels.
Perronneau began his career as an engraver, apparently studying with Laurent Cars, whose portrait he drew, and working for the entrepreneurial printseller Gabriel Huquier, making his first portraits in oils, and especially in pastels, in the 1740s. His career was much in the shadow of the master of the French pastel portrait, Maurice Quentin de La Tour. This led him to seek a clientele outside Paris, especially it seems in Orléans, but also in Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lyon and in Turin, Rome and Amsterdam. Less popular with the high aristocracy than La Tour, he painted mostly the senior Officials, and the upper bourgeoisie, engineers, doctors and clergy. On the other hand he seems to have been particularly favoured and respected by his own colleagues.
In the Salon of 1750, Perronneau exhibited his pastel portrait of  Maurice-Quentin de la Tour, but found to his dismay that La Tour was exhibiting his own self portrait, perhaps a malicious confrontation to demonstrate his superiority in pastel technique.
Perronneau was born in Paris but died unknown in Amsterdam at age 68.

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