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Jean-Philippe-Guy le Gentil, Comte de Paroy

1750–1824, Paris

This aristocratic artist with a fine-sounding name is an example of the man of parts so typical of the period of the Ancien Régime. Le Gentil engaged in painting, was active as a medal-maker and etcher, tried his hand at writing and was also a passionate collector of ancient Etruscan vases. The biographical notes of Portalis and Béraldi convey a lively picture of the artistic and social milieu of this man, who turned to art after a military career and, as a pupil of Janinet, experimented with colour printing techniques. Le Gentil was a close friend of the painter Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, who had one of the leading salons in Paris.