LE LORRAIN, Louis-Joseph
(b. 1715, Paris, 1759, St. Petersburg)

Biography

French painter, furniture designer, architect and engraver. He studied with Jacques Dumont and won the Grand Prix de Peinture in 1739. He remained for eight years in Rome, where his architectural designs for the temporary centrepiece of the annual Chinea festival (1745, 1746 and 1747) are early examples of Neo-classicism, displaying a simple architectonic use of the orders that indicates his association with Giovanni Battista Piranesi in the circle of students of the Académie de France in Rome, who were highly influential in French architecture from the 1760s onwards.

On his return to Paris in 1747, Le Lorrain enjoyed the patronage of the Comte de Caylus, for whom he executed engravings of ancient paintings and revived the technique of encaustic. Through de Caylus he obtained a commission from Count Carl Gustav Tessin to design quadratura representations of columns and niches for the dining-room walls of his country house at Akerö, Sweden, in 1754. Le Lorrain also helped Julien-David Le Roy to prepare his drawings of ancient Greek monuments for engraving, published in Les Ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grèce (1758).