Gabriel Francois Doyen - Encyclopedia




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GABRIEL FRANCOIS DOYEN (1726-1806), French painter, was born at Paris in 1726. His passion for art prevailed over his father's wish, and he became in his twelfth year a pupil of Vanloo. Making rapid progress, he obtained at twenty the Grand Prix, and in 1748 set out for Rome. He studied the works of Annibale Caracci, Cortona, Giulio Romano and Michelangelo, then visited Naples, Venice, Bologna and other Italian cities, and in 1755 returned to Paris. At first unappreciated and disparaged, he resolved by one grand effort to conquer a reputation, and in 1758 he exhibited his "Death of Virginia." It was completely successful, and procured him admission to the Academy. Among his greatest works are reckoned the "Miracle des Ardents," painted for the church of St Genevieve at St Roch (1773); the "Triumph of Thetis," for the chapel of the Invalides; and the "Death of St Louis," for the chapel of the Military School. In 1776 he was appointed professor at the Academy of Painting. Soon after the beginning of the Revolution he accepted the invitation of Catherine II. and settled at St Petersburg, where he was loaded with honours and rewards. He died there on the 5th of June 1806.

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