French family of painters, draughtsmen and designers. From the 17th century until the 20th century, historians had fused two artists, father and son, into one personality that had become almost entirely mythical, with a career that spanned virtually the entire 16th century. The archival researches demonstrated that there had been an elder Jean Cousin, born probably no earlier than 1490 and surely not much after 1505, who died in 1560 or possibly 1561, and a younger Jean Cousin, his son, also an artist, who was a student at the University of Paris in 1542 and died around 1595. Although few paintings can be securely attributed to Jean Cousin the Elder, he was a major figure in the classicizing trend of French art in the 1540s and 1550s. Jean Cousin the Younger is a more shadowy figure, who carried on his father's workshop and style into the second half of the 16th century.