Jean-Joseph-Xavier Bidauld

Dates1758 - 1846

Born the son of a clockmaker and goldsmith, Jean Joseph-Xavier Bidauld became one of the finest Neo-classical landscape painters in France. After some rudimentary painting instruction from his older brother, Bidauld attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon. In 1783 he moved to Paris, where the perfumer and art dealer Dulac became his patron. Dulac paid for Bidauld to go to Italy, where he remained for five years; while there, he dedicated himself exclusively to landscape painting. Bidauld's journey was to have a fundamental impact on his artistic outlook, which remained nearly unchanged for the next sixty years. His paintings have cool lighting, meticulously painted foliage and architecture, and sweeping vistas that conformed to then-popular precepts about Neo-classical landscapes. Bidauld regularly exhibited at the Paris Salon between 1791 and 1844, winning a gold medal in 1812. When Neo-classicism lost favor, Bidauld was unable to adapt to changing styles and, as a consequence, fell out of fashion. Though at the height of his career he counted Charles IV, Napoléon, and Louis XVIII among his patrons, Bidauld died in poverty.