French painter, who as a student won the Grand Prix at the Acadmie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1749. Following a brief stay in Rome, he was received into the Acadmie in 1755 with the completion of a painting that earned him favourable comparisons to Guido Reni.
From 1760 until 1762, he directed the Saint Petersburg Academy at the Russian court. Upon his return to Paris, Lagrene became a professor at the Acadmie and received a range of important public commissions, excelling at medium-size and small paintings.
A virtuoso of fine craftsmanship, Lagrene was one of three painters responsible for the transformation of French painting away from the Rococo style towards a more restrained, classicizing idiom. He deliberately rejected the exuberant, artificial aesthetic of the mid-1700s, reviving instead the previous century s taste for an elegant, polished style.
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