French Painter, 1763-1843
French painter. He came from a humble background, his father being an employee at the market of Les Halles in Paris. At an early age, a farmer general, M. de Chalue, took an interest in him and found him a place with the curate of Veruts, on the plain of Saint-Denis, north of Paris. It was here that he first developed a love of the countryside. In 1775 he was apprenticed to a mediocre history painter called Leduc, but he preferred to go off and sketch out of doors. In order to assist him, M. de Berchigny, Colonel in the Hussars, engaged him in his regiment garrisoned in Normandy and arranged for him to take lessons in art. He remained there for more than a year and then returned to Paris, where he worked with M. de Grammont-Voulgy, who was Steward to the brother of Louis XVI.