Jean Raoux 1677-1734
Girl playing with a bird on a string 1717
Portrait de Mademoiselle Prevost en bacchante, musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours
Two young ladies singing in an elegant interior
Jeune fille lisant une lettre, musée du Louvre
Jean Raoux first trained in Montpellier with a pupil of Hyacinthe Rigaud, then moved to a Paris studio. After winning the Prix de Rome in 1704, Raoux was able to complete his education at the Académie de France in Rome and spent time in Florence and Padua. From 1707 to 1709 he was in Venice, where he met the leader of the Knights of Malta, who later offered him generous lodgings in Paris. Raoux’s paintings on classical and literary themes display the light, cheerful atmosphere of the fêtes galantes invented by Jean-Antoine Watteau. Coincidentally, Raoux became a full member of Paris’s Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1717 on the same day as Watteau. Raoux painted numerous portraits, both conventional formal representations and women as mythological figures. In his smaller portraits and genre subjects, he often treated light in a manner reminiscent of Rembrandt van Rijn.