GRIMOU, Alexis
(b. 1678, Argenteuil, d. 1733, Paris)


French painter. In 1704 he married a niece of the tavern-keeper Procope, whose house in Paris was a meeting-place for artists and intellectuals. The following year Grimou was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. Although instructed by the Académie to paint as his morceaux de réception portraits of the sculptor Jean Raon (1630-1707) and the painter Antoine Coypel, he failed to present either picture and in 1709 the agrément was annulled. As a result he joined the Académie de St Luc.

Trained by François de Troy in a tradition of rigorous seventeenth-century classicism, Grimou brought to the warm palette and considered composition of his master a certain audacity of handling that presaged developments in French painting of the eighteenth-century. As Chardin would a generation later, Grimou looked to Dutch painters of the Golden Age for inspiration. While he is famed for genre scenes peopled with soldiers and musicians, his vibrant intimiste portrait half-lengths exerted a strong influence on Fragonard, manifested in the latter's celebrated portraits de fantaisie.