Contributor VIAF URI: 5199384
Artist of print: S.4.07 Le danger de se deffendre, S.4.12 Dame françoise, S.4.14 La bagatelle, S.4.15 L’heureux songe, S.4.17 Le sommeil de l’amour, S.4.18 L’amour vain queur de la raison, S.4.03 Les vendanges de Cythere
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Saint-Quentin was born in Paris in 1738. He trained at the Académie Royale de peinture et sculpture and in the atelier of François Boucher (1703-1770). Saint-Quentin was marked out from his contemporaries at the Académie Royale, receiving a medal for second prize (2e médaille) in 1757, the first prize medal (1e médaille) in 1760. His canvas, Le mort de Socrate [Death of Socrates] won him the Prix de Rome in 1762. This most prestigious of prizes from the Académie Royale would normally entitle the recipient to spend three years at the Académie de France à Rome with a royal pension to cover costs. It is possible that the young artist travelled to Italy, but there are no records to confirm that he did.
Very few works have been attributed to Saint-Quentin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a very fine, but undated red chalk study of the head of a young woman in profile, which attests to his ability to imbue a spare neo-classical figure with the soft light reminiscent of that found in the graphic works of his master, Boucher. A painted scene of the entrance to the Tuileries gardens with the equestrian of Louis XV in the foreground, alongside two arcadian landscape studies, show his ability to move between genres as many of his contemporaries did too.
By the 1770s and into the 1780s Saint-Quentin designed book illustrations, including those for a 1785 publication for the spectacle Le mariage de Figaro held at the Comédie-Française with text by Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais (1732-99). That commission came a decade after he had produced seven designs for the fourth volume of Choix de Chansons mises en musique. His designs in the Chantilly album show the economy of style, governed by swift, sure line work, modelled with wash. These are markedly different to the detailed and highly finished designs produced by Le Barbier for the rest of the volume. Indeed, the relative sparseness of his style sets his designs apart from those of all other contributors to the publication.
Saint-Quentin was capable of producing more complicated allegorical scenes, as we see in his collaboration with François Denis Née and Louis-Joseph Masquelier on a print to celebrate the ascension of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette to the throne in 1774, Les garants de la félicité publique [guarantors of public joy]. The design for that print, held by the Bibliothèque nationale de France, is one of the few extant works firmly attributed to the artist’s hand, aside from those that appear in the Chantilly volumes of the Choix de Chansons.
Benezit, Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs, (1939), vol. 3, p. 704
Roles (Getty AAT Term): artists (visual artists)
Roles Getty AAT URI: 300025103
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Notes: Identity confirmed through related works on VIAF.