Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728-1808).
Before the storm and Fishing.
Pair of gouaches on canvas.
Signed on the lower right
Height 46,5 cm
Width 62 cm
Jean-Baptiste Pillement, known as Jean Pillement, born on May 24, 1728 and dead on April 26, 1808, is a French painter and aquafortist. He was one of the great representatives of the Rococo movement throughout Europe, painter of the king of Poland and of the Queen Marie-Antoinette.
From a family of painters and originally from the city of Lyon, he studied in Paris before joining the Gobelins factory as a draftsman. As a great traveler, he left France at the age of seventeen to work as a decorative painter in Spain and Portugal. He was even offered the title of "King's painter" in Portugal, which he turned down to work on the furnishings of the castle of King Stanislaus II of Poland in the late 1760's. He was named "First painter to the King of Poland" in 1768. He decorated the Chinese Salon and painted a large number of landscapes, especially gouaches. In Vienna, the Prince of Liechtenstein bought ten works from him and he took numerous commissions.
He was appreciated in England where he exhibited at the Society of Artists and the Free Society of Arts from 1760 to 1791, making him a fashionable painter for his landscapes in oil as well as for his pastels or gouaches, reproduced and engraved by many young artists of his time.
He displayed his work at the Salon de la correspondance in 1782 in Paris. The two gouaches he displayed are described as representing "landscapes with figures of men, animals and waterfalls". Besides, he was appointed "painter to the Queen" Marie-Antoinette in 1778, he painted several decorative panels at the Petit Trianon.
In the 1780's he was in Portugal, where he founded a school, and then in Spain. However, he died in poverty following the French Revolution and the decline of the roccoco fashion at the end of the 18th century.
As a decorator, Pillement created both chinese motifs and picturesque landscapes. Pillement's landscape formula was so successful at the end of the Ancien Régime that he was able to devote himself exclusively to the genre, which was considered minor, and to achieve the same fame as the great history painters. He depicted rugged, fantasized landscapes, often dramatized, like our painting of the storm, which seem to announce certain aspects of romantic painting. While the bluish coloring that tints most of his paintings is inspired by the Dutch landscape painters of the seventeenth century.