BERTIN, Jean-Victor
(b. 1767, Paris, 1842, Paris)


French painter and lithographer. In 1785 Bertin entered the Académie Royale de Peinture as a pupil of the history painter Gabriel-François Doyen. By 1788 he had become a pupil of the landscape painter Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes who directed him towards idealized Italianate landscape.

Between 1785 and 1793 Bertin participated unsuccessfully in academic competitions and his official début came only in 1793 when he exhibited in the 'open' Salon. After 1793 he contributed consistently to the Salon until his death. In 1801 he received a Prix d'Encouragement for the Town of Pheneos. Like many of his early Salon works, it is now known only through engravings. Among his early extant Salon works are the Statue, or Interior of a Park (1800; Dijon, Musée Magnin), View of Ronciglione (1808; Nantes, Musée des Beaux-Arts) and Arrival of Napoleon at Ettlingen (1812; Versailles, Château). Jean-Victor Bertin was recognized as one of the premiere historic landscape painters during the nineteenth century. Throughout his career, many of his paintings were purchased by the state; originally for official residences and later, under the Restoration, for country museums. In 1822, he was inducted into la Légion d'honneur (the Legion of Honour).

Bertin created idealized landscapes in the traditional style of Poussin and Claude. Together Bertin and Valenciennes lobbied the Academy for the creation of a Prix de Rome for historical landscape painting, which was finally instituted in 1816. The award raised the status of historical landscape painting and fostered the education of many painters who painted outside and directly from nature. However, unlike these en plein air painters and his student Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875), a member of the Barbizon School, Bertin remained true to the style of idealized and recomposed landscapes. He rendered scenes of Italy and the areas surrounding Paris in his studio and no oil study on paper of his is known.