Pierre Paul Prudhon Biography | Oil Paintings
4-4-1758 Cluny, FRA – 2-16-1823 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Pierre Prudon was the son of a stone cutter, he altered both halves of his name and became Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, to relate himself to Peter Paul Rubens and to evoke landed gentry. Pierre-Paul Prud'hon received his artistic training in Dijon when he was sixteen years old, a student of Devosge. He went to Paris in 1780, but when he was twenty-six years old from 1784 to 1787 he moved to Italy to continue his education. And the study of Correggio's works and Leonardo da Vinci's gave his art its distinctive style. On his return to Paris, he decorated some private manors and his work for rich Parisians led him to be held in high regard at Napoleon's court.
His painting of Empress Josephine portrays her, not as an Empress but as a lovely attractive woman which led some to think that Pierre-Paul Prud'hon might have been in love with her. After her divorce from Napoleon, he was also employed by Napoleon' s second wife Marie-Louise.
The Louvre provided his studio and living space from 1798 to 1799 to paint The Wisdom and the Truth Descending. The French government gave him a workshop at the Sorbonne where his wife Jeanne came to harass him. To escape her, the painter asked for protection from the director of the museum. In 1803 he separated from his mentally ill wife. Shortly after Constance Mayer, a young painter came into his life, but after an ill-fated love affair with her, in 1821 suffering from spells of depression, she committed suicide in his apartment at the Sorbonne. This caused Prud'hon's depression and subsequent death.
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon was at times clearly influenced by Neo-Classicism, at other times by Romanticism. Appreciated by other artists like Delacroix and Millet for his chiaroscuro and convincing realism, he is probably most famous for his Crucifixion, which he painted for St. Etienne's Cathedral in Metz.
The young Théodore Géricault had painted reproductions of work by Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, including his magnum opus, Justice and Divine Vengeance Pursuing Crime, where darkness and the a naked, sprawled corpse obviously anticipate Géricault's painting The Raft of the Medusa.
Art Movement: Romanticism, Neo-Classicism.
Artists Influencing Pierre-Paul Prud'hon: Claude François Devosge, Correggio, Léonard de Vinci.
He Traveled To Italy.
Painters Pierre-Paul Prud'hon Influenced: Pierre Félix Trezel.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.