Jean-Marc Nattier was a painter. He is noted for his portraits of the ladies of King Louis XV's court in classical mythological attire. He received his first instruction from his father, and from his uncle, the history painter Jean Jouvenet (1644–1717). He enrolled in the Royal Academy in 1703 and made a series of drawing of the Marie de Médicis painting cycle by Peter Paul Rubens in the Luxembourg Palace; the publication (1710) of engravings based on these drawings made Nattier famous.
he refused to proceed to the French Academy in Rome, though he had taken the first prize at the Paris Academy at the age of fifteen. In 1715 he went to Amsterdam, where Peter the Great was then staying, and painted portraits of the tsar and the empress Catherine, but declined an offer to go to Russia.
Nattier aspired to be a history painter. The financial collapse of 1720 caused by the schemes of Law all but ruined Nattier, who found himself forced to devote his whole energy to portraiture, which was more lucrative. He became the painter of the artificial ladies of Louis XV's court. Nattier's graceful and charming portraits of court ladies in this mode were very fashionable, partly because he could beautify a sitter while also retaining her likeness.
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