French painter. His first tutor was a certain Ferou, concierge of the Acadmie Royale, Paris; he then trained with Ren-Antoine Houasse
and Bon Boullogne. Having come second in the Prix de Rome competition of 1698 with Joseph s Cup Found in Benjamin s Belongings, in 1699 he won the first prize with a Vision of Jacob in Egypt (both untraced). He did not go to Rome, however, remaining in Paris to become one of the leading painters of large religious compositions and history paintings. He was received (reu) at the Acadmie Royale in 1703 with a Triumph of Hercules over Achelous and made his dbut at the Salon in 1704 with a St Cecilia (both untraced).
Salon exhibitions were suspended from 1705 to 1725, and Cazes did not exhibit there again until 1737, but his reputation was ensured by a series of important commissions: a ceiling with putti for the Tuileries, Paris (c. 1720; in situ), may have been his first royal commission, and in 1724 he collaborated with Jean-Baptiste Oudry,
Charles-Antoine Coypel, Louis Galloche, Jean Restout II,
Ernest Christophe, Henri de Favanne and Jean-Franois de Troy II in the decoration of the Hôtel du Grand Maître at Versailles, providing an oval canvas of Bacchus and Ariadne (Versailles, Hôtel de Ville).
In 1727 he executed the altarpiece of the Virgin in Glory (now in Versailles, St Louis) for the church of the Parc-aux-Cerfs at Versailles. That year he also took part in the competition organized by the Btiments du Roi that was intended to stimulate creativity and higher standards among painters, producing the Triumph of Venus (Barnard Castle, Bowes Museum); for a similar competition of 1747 he produced a Rape of Europa (untraced), the subject that Franois Boucher treated in his entry. By then Cazes was a well-established figure: in 1732 he had painted two pastoral scenes (untraced) for the Petits Cabinets of Louis XV at Versailles, and, having been appointed Professor in 1718, he rose through the hierarchy of the Acadmie Royale to become Chancellor in 1746.
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