Greuze, Jean-Baptiste [key], 1725–1805, French genre and portrait painter. He studied at the Académie Royale and won recognition in 1755 with his Blind Man Deceived. He traveled in Italy and on his return painted a series of popular realistic pictures of a dramatic and moralizing character—The Village Bride, The Father's Curse, The Wicked Son Punished, The Broken Pitcher (all: Louvre). His artificial, often slightly prurient compositions are less interesting to modern taste than his portraits, which include one of his wife called The Milkmaid (Louvre) and those of the dauphin, Robespierre, and Napoleon (all: Versailles). A superb draftsman, he also created hundreds of fine drawings. In the Revolution Greuze lost both fortune and popularity, and died in poverty. Examples of his work are in such collections as the Louvre, London's Wallace Collection, the Edinburgh National Gallery, and New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.
See study by A. Brookner (1972).
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