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Creator Name: Prud'hon, Pierre-Paul
Creator Qualifier: Imitator of
Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1758 - 1823
Biography: Pierre-Paul Prud'hon studied at the Dijon School of Art under François Devosge (1732-1811), founder and director of one of the most prominent art schools in France. In 1776 Prud'hon met the Baron de Joursanvault, a follower of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and an art lover, who became his first patron. At the age of twenty-two Prud'hon left for Paris, where he attended the Académie Royale and was introduced to Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805) and Jean-Georges Wille (1715-1808), an important engraver and collector. Soon after he returned to Dijon in 1784, he won the Prix de Rome and left for Italy, where he would spend four decisive years. He studied the works of Raphael (1483-1520), Leonardo da Vinci (1452--1519), and Correggio (ca. 1489/94-1534) as well as antique sculptures. He was influenced by the artists Anton Raphael Mengs (1728-1779), Antonio Canova (1757-1822), and Angelica Kauffmann (1741-1807) rather than his own countrymen, the pupils of David (q.v.). When he returned to Paris in 1788, Prud'hon endorsed the revolutionary ideals. He attended the meetings of David's Club des Arts and made drawings with political overtones that were to be engraved. After Robespierre's execution, Prud'hon was forced to live in exile in the Franche-Comté (1794-96), where he painted several portraits and made book illustrations. Upon his return to Paris he was elected to the Institut de France and received private and public commissions for decorative projects, including, for example, the ceilings in the Greek sculpture rooms of the Louvre and designs for the celebrations of the emperor's coronation and his marriage to Marie-Louise of Austria. During the First Empire (1805-15) he became equally respected for his imperial portraits and was appointed drawing instructor of the new empress. During the Bourbon restoration (1815-23) he still received several public commissions, even though he did not sympathize with the regime. In 1802 Prud'hon's wife had to be institutionalized, leaving him to care for their five children. He would be supported in this task by his pupil, Constance Mayer (1774-1821), who not only became his mistress but also his first artistic collaborator. (Prud'hon often made the preparatory drawings for her paintings.) His last years were plagued with many problems, and Mayer's suicide in 1821 affected him tremendously. He would survive her only briefly, dying two years later in 1823.
Creator Birth Place: Cluny, Saône-et-Loire, 4 April 1758
Creator Death Place: Paris, 16 February 1823
Creator Name-CRT: Pierre-Paul Prud'hon
Title: Le rêve du bonheur
Title Type: Foreign
Title: The Dream of Happiness
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1819
Creation End Date: 1924
Creation Date: after 1819
Object Type: Paintings
Materials and Techniques: oil on fabric
Dimensions: Unframed: 24.2cm x 29.3cm
Inscriptions: Signed lower right: P. Prud'hon
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1980.277
Credit Line: Bequest of Noah L. Butkin
Provenance: Legueltel. Arnoldi-Livie, Munich. Noah L. Butkin, Cleveland. Bequeathed to the CMA in 1980.References
AMICA ID: CMA_.1980.277
AMICA Library Year: 2001
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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