French painter from Lyon, a city which suffered much political upheaval during the revolution. In 1796 he went to Paris and entered the studio of Jacques-Louis David,
where he rejoined fellow Lyonnais Pierre Rvoil and became friends with Auguste Forbin and became friends with Franois-Marius Granet.
These artists formed a splinter group in the studio and rejected their master s Neoclassicism in favour of subjects from modern history and literature. The Muse des Monuments Franais, which preserved medieval and renaissance art and architectural artifacts from Revolutionary destruction, was a great inspiration to Richard and his fellow troubadour painters.
Richard exhibited his first troubadour picture, Valentine de Milan,
in the Salon of 1802 and was praised by David: "This doesn t resemble anything; it is as new in effect as in colour." Richard was immediately successful. Vivant Denon, Napoleon s artistic advisor wanted him to paint scenes from the life of Napoleon, but Richard avoided modern subjects. Denon remarked on the novelty of the genre of national history subjects at the 1804 Salon and mentioned Richard as its top exponent.
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