Jean-Baptiste Greuze, ‘Head of a Young Girl’, Stair Sainty

About Jean-Baptiste Greuze

Considered to represent the highest ideal of genre painting in the mid-18th century, Jean-Baptiste Greuze won popularity with his sentimental, moralizing scenes. Greuze exhibited Father Reading the Bible to His Children at the 1755 Salon to great success. He worked in the bright color and lighter attitude typical of 18th-century painting, but introduced Dutch realism into French genre painting and portraiture. In 1769 Greuze suffered the humiliation of being denied the status of “history painter” after presenting his work to the Académie Royale. By the 1780s Neoclassicism had risen to popularity in France and Greuze’s work went out of fashion; his productivity and skill in decline, he died in poverty and relative obscurity.

French, 1725-1805, Tournus, France, based in Paris, France