CALLET, Antoine-François
(b. 1741, Paris, d. 1823, Paris)


French painter. He studied under Antoine Boizot, attending drawing classes at the Académie Royale. In 1764, with his painting Epponina and Sabinus Condemned by Vespasian (Paris, Ecole Normale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts), he won the Prix de Rome, which allowed him to complete his artistic education at the Académie de France in Rome. Callet remained in Italy until 1772, when he executed a ceiling painting for the ballroom of the Palazzo Spinola in Genoa, which shows the influence of Veronese and the Bolognese school.

His first major work on returning to Paris was the decoration of the cupola of the Salon de Compagnie in the Petits Appartements of the Palais Bourbon (1774; destroyed 1864; painting of the decoration by the artist, Paris, Musées Nationaux). Its mythological scenes, with classicizing figure types, virtuoso foreshortenings and trompe l'oeil effects, again draw on Italian models. Another ceiling painting, the Triumph of Flora (1775), is known from an oil sketch (Cholet, Musée d'Art) and a small replica (Paris, Louvre). Together with the painters Taraval, Durameau, and Renou, he completed the decoration of the Salon d'Apollon in the Louvre, commenced in the previous century by Charles Le Brun.

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