LANDON, Charles Paul
(b. 1760, Nonant-le-Pin, d. 1826, Paris)
French painter and writer on art. He entered the studio of Jean-Baptiste Regnault, where he made a lifelong friendship with Robert Lefèvre. He won the first prize of the Academy in 1792, for study at the French Academy in Rome, where he stayed for five years. After his return from Italy, in the disturbed patronage conditions of the French Revolution, he seems to have abandoned painting and turned to writing, although he began to exhibit in 1795, and continued to do so at various intervals up to 1814. He exhibited three pictures at the Louvre: the Mother's Lesson, the Bath of Paul and Virginia and Daedalus and Icarus.
However, his works on painting and painters, which reach nearly one hundred volumes, form his chief title to be remembered. In spite of a complete want of critical accuracy, an extreme carelessness in the biographical details, and the feebleness of the line engravings by which they are illustrated, Landon's Annales du musée et de l'école moderne des beaux-arts, published between 1808 and 1835 in 33 volumes, forms a vast repertory of compositions by masters of every age and school of permanent value. Landon also published Vie et ouvres des peintres les plus célebres de toutes les écoles (Lives of Celebrated Painters), in 22 volumes.