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Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre

1713–1789, Paris

Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre studied under Charles-Joseph Natoire at the Académie Royale in Paris and won the presti­gious Prix de Rome in 1734. From 1735 to 1740 Pierre lived and worked as a pensionnaire at the Académie de France in Rome and subsequently became a much sought-after history painter. In 1770 he was appointed a director of the Académie in Paris and was nominated first painter to the king the same year. These prestigious functions made him one of the most influential artists of his time, paving the way for the rise of neo-classicism during the second half of the 18th century. Pierre was also a gifted and skillful printmaker, although this was no more than a sideline. He was introduced to the art of printmaking early in his career, probably through his acquaintance with Charles-Nicolas Cochin (father and son). After a period of relative inactivity, Pierre resumed printmaking in the mid-1750s.