Tuesday, December 17, 2013

François Lemoyne or François Le Moine (1688 – 4 June 1737) was a French rococo painter. He was born in Paris. In 1701, when he was 13 years old, he entered the Académie de peinture et de sculpture. He studied under Louis Galloche and stayed until 1713. In 1711, Lemoyne won the Prix de Rome. He was accepted as a member of the Académie in 1718 and was elected as a professor in 1733. The duc d'Antin (Louis-Antoine de Pardaillan de Grondin) was the director of the Bâtiments du Roi and had a competition in 1727 for history painters of the Académie. Twelve large history paintings were submitted. Lemoyne had to share the first prize with his competitor Jean-François de Troy (Paris 1679 - Rome 1752). His work and talent, notably plied in Versailles, earned him the name of the "new Le Brun". He became Premier peintre du Roi and worked with other artists of the era, such as Nonotte, Gilles Dutilleul, Charles de La Fosse and Coypel. However, the excess of work, court intrigues at Versailles, and the death of his wife drove him to madness. He committed suicide in Paris in 1737 by stabbing himself seven times, six months after finishing the ceiling painting ("L'apothéose d'Hercule") in the Salon d'Hercule in the grand appartement du roi. With his death, the fashion of large allegorical ceilings disappeared.