Portrait of the painter Conrad Gessner
Jacques Sablet (1749-1803) was a Swiss painter. Son of a decorator and gilder from Lausanne, he studied with his father before moving to Paris in 1772; there he worked with Joseph-Marie Vien for three years. When in 1775 Vien was named director of the French Academy in Rome, Sablet accompanied him there. His ambition was to be a history painter, but facing competition from Jacques-Louis David and Pierre Peyron, among others, and lacking solid academic training, he could win no commissions. Instead he turned to portraiture , genre painting, and landscape painting. Most of his genre scenes depicted the city's everyday life and customs of the Campagna. Sablet shared a studio with history painter Hubert Drouais and was friends with Simon Denis. He fled to Florence in 1793 with the rise of anti-French sentiment in the Papal States, but perhaps because of the competition he would face there from Louis Gauffier he soon returned to Paris. He accompanied Lucien Bonaparte when the latter was named ambassador to Madrid in 1800, serving as an adviser on his art collection.
* Philip Conisbee, Sarah Faunce, and Jeremy Strick. In the Light of Italy: Corot and Early Open-Air Painting. New Haven; Yale University Press, 1996.
* Jacques Sablet on Artnet
Artist from Switzerland
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