PEYRON, Jean-François-Pierre
(b. 1744, Aix-en-Provence, d. 1814, Paris)

Biography

French painter and draughtsman. He was the son of a provincial administrator and at the wish of his family studied law until the death of his father in 1765, when as a protégé of Michel-François Dandré-Bardon he enrolled in the Ecole de Dessin at Aix-en-Provence. In 1767 he moved to Paris as a pupil of Louis Lagrenée and also enrolled in the school of the Académie Royale de Peinture. In 1773 he won the Prix de Rome in competition with Jacques-Louis David. Peyron's version of the prize subject, the Death of Seneca (untraced), is known through an engraving by the artist. In 1774, working to designs by Charles-Louis Clérisseau, he decorated the salon of the Hôtel Grimod de la Reyniere, Paris, with the first examples of Neo-classical grotesque decoration in 18th-century France.

The prestigious Grand Prix award enabled Peyron to spend seven years studying in Rome, where he profited from the examples of Italian artists and of his French predecessor Poussin. Peyron returned to enjoy patronage that included a commission for King Louis XVI for the subject of Alceste's death (1785, Louvre, Paris, a smaller version dated 1794 is now in North-Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh.