LACROIX, Charles-François
(b. ca. 1700, Marseille, d. 1782, Berlin)


French painter, called Lacroix de Marseille. He enjoyed great popularity with both Italian and French collectors, yet surprisingly, little is known about his life. The first documentary reference to the artist dates from 1750 when the marquis de Vandieres, travelling with Soufflot and Cochin, met Lacroix in Rome.

From the clear stylistic links between the two artists it has been assumed that Lacroix was a pupil of Claude-Joseph Vernet and they were evidently working side by side in Rome in 1751 when Lacroix executed copies, now at Uppark, Sussex, of four views by Vernet painted in that year, also at Uppark. Lacroix's copies are almost indistinguishable from Vernet's prototypes, which may help to explain why he only emerges from obscurity after his and Vernet's paths separated in 1753, Vernet returning to France leaving Lacroix in Rome.

Lacroix was in Naples in 1757, although he was clearly back in Rome in 1759. He later returned to France, where he is recorded in 1776 and 1780. He died in Berlin in 1782.

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