Jean-Baptiste Le Prince

Born: 1734, Metz (France)
Died: 1781, Saint-Denis-du-Port (France)

French engraver, painter. Born to a family of ornamental sculptors and gilders in Metz (1734). Studied under François Boucher in Paris (from 1750). Married a much older woman (1752) and allegedly fled from her to Italy (1754). Invited by Empress Elizabeth Petrovna to St Petersburg (1757), where he decorated the newly built Winter Palace (1758–60). Visited the Baltic region, Finland and Siberia. Returned to France (1762), where he exhibited paintings and engravings on Russian subjects at the Paris Salon (1765–69). Academician (1765), councillor of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture (1775). Pioneered the aquatint technique (1768). Painted cartoons for the Jeux russiens tapestries woven by the Manufacture de Beauvais (1769). Retired to the Brie region (1770), where he painted landscapes and pastoral scenes (1770s). Died in Saint-Denis-du-Port in Seine-et-Marne (1781).

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