Jean-Joseph Taillasson

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Virgil reading the Aeneid to Augustus and Octavia,[1] by Jean-Joseph Taillasson, 1787, an early neoclassical painting (National Gallery, London

Jean-Joseph Taillasson (6 July 1745 — 11 November 1809[2]) was a French history painter and portraitist, draftsman and art critic.

Taillasson was born at Blaye, near Bordeaux.[3] His poem "Le Danger des règles dans les Arts" was noted with approval by the Danish visitor to Paris, Tønnes Christian Bruun-Neergaard, and an elegy "Sur la Nuit", he thought, seemed fit to soften the least sensitive heart.[4] who matured his talent in the Paris ateliers of Joseph-Marie Vien (from 1764)[5] and Nicolas Bernard Lépicié and, having won third place in the Prix de Rome competition, 1769, spent four years, 1773–77, in Italy. At his return to Paris he set an early example of neoclassicism.

His Observations sur quelques grands peintres,[6] (Paris, Duminil-Lesueur) 1807, offered anti-academic advice somewhat at variance with his own manner; some of the collected observations had previously appeared in the Journal des Arts.[7] He died in Paris.

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ The anecdote, in which the poet read the passage in Book VI in praise of Octavia's late son Marcellus, and Octavia fainted with grief, was recorded in the late fourth-century vita of Virgil by Aelius Donatus.
  2. ^ Cyclopedia.
  3. ^ John Denison Champlin, Charles Callahan Perkins, Cyclopedia of Painters and Paintings (1887) s.v. "Taillasson, Jean Joseph".
  4. ^ (Bruun-Neergaard, ''Sur la situation des beaux arts en France: ou lettres d'un Danois a son ami (pp. 140-41, under the date 12 germinal an 9 [3 April 1802]).
  5. ^ "Taillasson , très-bon compositeur" remarked Bruun-Neergaard.
  6. ^ Full title, Observations sur quelques grands peintres, dans lesquelles on cherche à fixer les caractères distinctifs de leur talent, avec un précis de leur Vie
  7. ^ Remarked on by Bruun-Neergaard; see also Debra Schrishuhn, "The Observations Of Jean-Joseph Taillasson: Anti-Academic Admonitions From A Seasoned Academician" Proceedings Of The Consortium On Revolutionary Europe(1997:651-58).
  8. ^ a b c d Cyclopedia
  9. ^ Bruun-Neergaard 1802:141.