The directory «Artists»
Born on 17 March 1685 in Paris, son of the portrait painter and académicien Marc Nattier (1642-1703). He attended the Académie and made drawings from Le Brun's battles at Versailles and Rubens's Marie de Médicis cycle in the Luxembourg Palace. He declined a place at the Académie de France in Rome. In 1717 he painted portraits of the Russian Court, then in Holland. Agréé in 1715, he was reçu in 1718, his morceau de réception being the history piece Persée et Phinée (Tours). Although he completed the decoration, begun by Raoux, of the Hôtel du Temple for the grand prieur, Jean-Philippe, Chevalier d'Orléans, he soon specialised in portraiture. By the early 1730s he was known for the portrait historique in which his female sitters appeared with the attributes of nymphs or goddesses. Increasingly popular in Court circles, he was particularly favoured by the King's daughters, whom he painted both as the Seasons and the Elements. Of his many portraits at Versailles, those of the Queen (cf. P437) of 1748 and the whole-length of Madame Henriette of 1754 earned the highest praise. He exhibited at the Salon 1737-63, and in the Académie he was made adjoint à professeur in 1746 and professeur in 1752. His critical fortunes changed in the later 1750s and ill-health ended his career in 1762. He died in Paris on 7 September 1766. His brother Jean-Baptiste (1678-1717) had been a painter; his artist son was drowned in Rome in 1754.
France, 1967, Beamarchais