[jeen or, for 1, Brit. formerly jeyn]
Jaurès, Jean, 1859-1914, French Socialist leader and historian. A brilliant student and teacher, he entered the chamber of deputies in 1885 and subsequently became a Socialist. In his Socialist journals, notably Humanité, he denounced nationalism and upheld socialism and world peace. Jaurès saw socialism as the economic equivalent of political democracy; he believed that economic equality would come as the result of peaceful revolution. He sought to reconcile Marxian materialism and his own idealistic beliefs and emphasized the importance of individual rights and initiative. As leader of the Socialists, he opposed Boulanger, defended Dreyfus, and worked for the separation of church and state. He was active in the formation (1905) of the unified French Socialist party, and he attempted to preserve party harmony. In 1914, Jaurès advocated arbitration instead of war and declared that capitalist nations, including France, were responsible for the war crisis. He was assassinated by a fanatical patriot in July, 1914. His Histoire socialiste de la Révolution française (new ed. by Albert Mathiez, 8 vol., 1922-24), an economic interpretation of the French Revolution, strikes a balance between the materialistic approach of Marx and the dramatic history of Michelet.

See biographies by J. H. Jackson (1943) and H. Goldberg (1962).

Genet, Jean, 1910-86, French dramatist. Deserted by his parents as an infant, Genet spent much of his early life in reformatories and prisons. Between 1940 and 1948 he wrote several autobiographical prose narratives dealing with homosexuality and crime, including Our Lady of the Flowers (tr. 1949, repr. 1963) and The Thief's Journal (tr. 1964). In 1948 he was sentenced to life imprisonment for theft, but he was pardoned through the efforts of important French writers, including Gide, Sartre, and Cocteau. Genet's first two plays, Les Bonnes (1947; tr. The Maids, 1954) and Haute Surveillance (1949; tr. Deathwatch, 1954), established him as a dramatist concerned with theater as ritual and ceremony. Considered classic examples of the theater of the absurd, his dramas portray a world of outcasts in revolt against everything that renders humans helpless, subservient, and alone. His later plays include The Balcony (tr. 1958), in which the patrons of a brothel act out their fantasies as a revolution progresses in the streets, and The Blacks (tr. 1960), a "clown show" in which black actors play the roles of their white oppressors. Other works include the play The Screens (tr. 1962) and Querelle (tr. 1974).

See his Reflections on the Theatre (tr. 1972); J.-P. Sartre, Saint Genet (1952, tr. 1963); biography by E. White, Genet (1993); and studies by R. N. Coe (1970), B. Knapp (1968, rev. ed. 1989), and H. Stewart (1989).

Domat, Jean, 1625-96, French jurist. His Les Loix civiles dans leur ordre naturel [civil laws in their natural order] (3 vol., 1689-94) is a restatement of Roman law considered as a system derived from ethical theory and natural theology. It is believed to be the earliest work on the subject to depart from the arrangement of the 6th-century Corpus Juris Civilis. His name is also spelled Daumat.

See H. F. Jolowicz, Roman Foundations of Modern Law (1957).

Brunhes, Jean, 1869-1932, French geographer. He was a leading exponent of French systematic, as opposed to regional, geography. He studied human artifacts in the context of environment. He authored many texts, including Human Geography (1910) and Human Geography of France (2 vol., 1920-26). He was appointed to the Collège de France in 1912.
Arp, Jean or Hans, 1887-1966, French sculptor and painter. Arp was connected with the Blaue Reiter in Munich, various avant-garde groups in Paris, including the surrealists, and the Dadaists in Zürich. He consistently created novel and abstract forms in various media—bas-reliefs, collages, painted cutouts, sculpture in the round, and painted wood reliefs. Often given a humorous touch, his works contain elements of organic form while retaining their essential abstraction. Arp finished a monumental wood relief for Harvard in 1950.

See his Arp on Arp, ed. by M. Jean (1972); catalog of his sculpture by François Arp (1968); study by H. Read (1968).

Cruveilhier, Jean, 1791-1874, French physician. The first professor of pathology at the Univ. of Paris (from 1836), he introduced the descriptive method into the study of that field. He was the first to describe multiple sclerosis adequately. His works include The Anatomy of the Human Body (2 vol., 1829-42; tr. 1844).
Le Clerc, Jean, Latin Johannes Clericus, 1657-1736, Swiss Arminian theologian and biblical scholar. He preached in France and in London, then, drawn to the teachings of the Dutch Remonstrants, settled in Amsterdam, where he became professor in the Remonstrant Seminary. His biblical commentaries pointed the way to scientific criticism. Among his important works are Bibliothèque universelle et historique (1686-93), Bibliothèque choisie (1703-13), and Bibliothèque ancienne et moderne (1714-27). See Remonstrants.

See biography by S. A. Golden (1972).

Nicolet, Jean, 1598?-1642, French explorer in the Old Northwest. He came to New France with Samuel de Champlain in 1618. In 1634, under the direction of Champlain, he took a notable voyage west in search of the Northwest Passage, exploring Lake Michigan, Green Bay, and the Fox River. He was drowned on a trip to Trois Rivières.
Boulogne, Jean: see Bologna, Giovanni.
Piaget, Jean, 1896-1980, Swiss psychologist, known for his research in developmental psychology. After receiving a degree in zoology from the Univ. of Neuchâtel (1918), Piaget's interests shifted to psychology. He studied under C. G. Jung and Eugen Bleuler in Zürich, and then in Paris at the Sorbonne. There, he worked with Alfred Binet in the administration of intelligence tests to children. In reviewing the tests, Piaget became interested in the types of mistakes children of various ages were likely to make. After returning to Switzerland in 1921, Piaget began to study intensively the reasoning processes of children at various ages. In 1929, he became professor of child psychology at the Univ. of Geneva, where he remained until his death, also serving as professor of psychology at the Univ. of Lausanne (1937-54). Piaget theorized that cognitive development proceeds in four genetically determined stages that always follow the same sequential order. Although best known for his groundbreaking work in developmental psychology, Piaget wrote on a number of other topics as well. Influenced by the French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, Piaget's Structuralism (1970) focused on the applications of dialectics and structuralism in the behavioral sciences. He also attempted a synthesis of physics, biology, psychology, and epistemology, published as Biology and Knowledge (1971). A prolific writer, Piaget's writings also include The Child's Conception of the World (tr. 1929), The Moral Judgment of the Child (tr. 1932), The Language and Thought of the Child (tr. of 3d ed. 1962), Genetic Epistemology (tr. 1970), and The Development of Thought (tr. 1977).

See studies by H. Gardner (1973, repr. 1981), G. Butterworth (1982), S. Sugarman (1987), and M. Chapman (1988).

Picard, Jean, 1620-82, French astronomer, noted for having made the first accurate measurement of a degree of the earth's meridian. The figures he established were of great value to Newton in his calculation of the force of gravitation. Picard, who had previously been the prior of Rillé, in Anjou, went to Paris to occupy the chair of astronomy in the Collège de France in 1655. He determined (1671) the latitude and longitude of Tycho Brahe's observatory at Ven (now Landskrona, Sweden) in order to be able to use Brahe's observations of the positions of heavenly bodies. To him is due in great part the establishment of the Paris Observatory and of the Connaissance des temps, the first five volumes (1679-83) of which he wrote.
Chapelain, Jean, 1595-1674, French critic and poet. His works include La Pucelle (1656), an epic poem about Joan of Arc. Chapelain was a founding member of the French Academy, for which he composed a celebrated attack upon Pierre Corneille's Le Cid.
Desmarets de Saint-Sorlin, Jean, 1595-1676, French poet and dramatist. A protégé of Richelieu, he was a founding member of the French Academy. In 1670 he precipitated a controversy over the literary merits of the ancients that foreshadowed the polemics of Perrault and Boileau-Despréaux; Boileau attacked him in L'Art poétique.
Froissart, Jean, c.1337-1410?, French chronicler, poet, and courtier, b. Valenciennes. Although ordained as a priest, he led a worldly life. He became a protégé of Queen Philippa of England, visited the court of David II of Scotland, and accompanied (1366) Edward the Black Prince on the campaign in Gascony. He also traveled widely in the Low Countries and in Italy. In the south of France he saw the brilliant court of Gaston III of Foix, and he later described it in a famous passage. Nothing is known of his life after 1404: his death date is traditionally 1410. His chronicle, continuing that of Jean le Bel, canon of Liège, covers the history of Western Europe from the early 14th cent. to 1400, roughly the first half of the Hundred Years War. In literary merit Froissart's chronicle far surpasses similar efforts in any European language. He described events with brilliance and gusto, and his sympathy was with the established order—or disorder—of his time. His highly partisan spirit and disregard for accuracy limit the value of his chronicle as pure history, yet few historians have so successfully brought an era to life. The chronicle remains a superb portrait of contemporary society. Apart from a tedious romance, Méliador, Froissart's poetry is charming and light; it somewhat influenced Chaucer, whom Froissart probably knew personally. The standard English translation (1523-25) of the chronicles by John Bourchier, Lord Berners, is available in many editions.

See study by R. M. Smith (1965).

Jean, 1921-, grand duke of Luxembourg (1964-2000); son of Charlotte, grand duchess of Luxembourg, and Felix, prince of Bourbon-Parma. He fought with Great Britain's Irish Guards in World War II. In 1953, Jean married Princess Josephine Charlotte, daughter of Leopold III, former king of Belgium. Jean was made deputy to his mother in 1961, virtually assuming the powers of head of state. In 1964 he became grand duke. He abdicated in favor of his son Henri in 2000.
Grolier de Servières, Jean, vicomte d'Aguisy, 1479-1565, French bibliophile. Grolier served Francis I as government treasurer and was later ambassador to Italy. There he met the printer Aldus Manutius and began collecting books. His library consisted of some 3,000 richly bound volumes, which remained in his family until 1675. About 350 volumes are now known to be in existence; many are in the Bibliothèque nationale. These books bear their owner's ex libris, "J. Grolerii et amicorum," which probably indicates that he also secured copies of the book for his friends. A New York club of bibliophiles, the Grolier Club (1884), and the American publishing company Grolier Incorporated are named after him.

See B. Matthews, Bookbindings … with an Account of the Grolier Club (1895).

Moréas, Jean, 1856-1910, French poet, b. Athens. His name was originally Iannis Papadiamantopoulos. He went to Paris in 1872. He wrote two volumes of symbolist verse, Les Syrtes (1884) and Le Pèlerin passionné (1891). With the publication of Enone au clair visage (1894) and Eriphyle (1894), Moréas returned to classical style, and in Les Stances (1899-1901) and his play Iphigénie (1903) he clearly reacted against the new movements in poetry.
Laffite, Jean, c.1780-1826?, leader of a band of privateers and smugglers. The name is often spelled Lafitte. He and his men began operating (1810) off the Baratarian coast S of New Orleans and, after 1817, from the island site of the present city of Galveston, Tex. His ships, commissioned by several of the Latin American nations in revolt against Spain, preyed on Spanish commerce. The booty (including slaves) was brought from Barataria Bay through bayous to New Orleans, where it was disposed of chiefly through the agency of Pierre Laffite, his half brother. In Sept., 1814, a U.S. naval force raided their establishment at Barataria and their ships. Laffite, a few days before, had refused a British offer of money and land and a commission in the royal navy as an inducement to aid the British in their attempt on New Orleans. Instead Laffite turned his information over to the Americans and offered his services to them in return for the pardon of his men. Gen. Andrew Jackson accepted their help, and many of the Baratarians participated with credit in the battle of New Orleans and were subsequently pardoned by President Madison. Laffite returned to his old life, moving his base of operations to the disputed Texas area, where he gathered about him almost a thousand followers. He was unmolested until several members of his colony attacked (1820) American property, whereupon the U.S. government again dispatched a naval force against him. Laffite with his closest followers departed (1821) peaceably. His final end is not certainly known; fragmentary evidence suggests that he died in Mexico in 1826. In his lifetime he was regarded as a romantic figure, and after his death legend heightened his fame.

See biographies by J. H. Ingraham (1836, repr. 1970), L. Saxon (1930), and M. V. Charnley (1934); W. C. Davis, The Pirates Laffite (2005).

Lafitte, Jean: see Laffite, Jean.
Lalande, Jean (Saint John Lalande), d. 1646, French Jesuit missionary in Canada and New York, one of the Jesuit Martyrs of North America. He came to the New World in 1644. He accompanied (1646) Father Isaac Jogues on his mission to the Mohawk and was martyred with him. Feast: Sept. 26 or (among the Jesuits) Mar. 16.
Lannes, Jean, 1769-1809, marshal of France. He fought under Napoleon Bonaparte (later Napoleon I) in the Italian and Egyptian campaigns, supported his coup of 18 Brumaire, and distinguished himself at Montebello, Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland, and Zaragoza. Napoleon considered Lannes one of his ablest generals and named him duke of Montebello. Lannes was killed in the battle of Essling.
Harlow, Jean, 1911-37, American movie star, b. Kansas City, Mo., as Harlean Carpentier. Harlow brought charm and a sexual knowingness to a series of comedies during the 1930s, becoming the model of feminine sexuality in films for the next decade. The original platinum blond, she played the tough working girl whatever her characters' actual social standing, frequently upsetting the decorum of the well-to-do. Her films include Platinum Blonde (1931), Red Dust (1932), Bombshell (1933), Dinner at Eight (1933), Libelled Lady (1936), and Saratoga (1937). She died of uremic poisoning at 26.
Fouquet or Foucquet, Jean or Jehan, c.1420-c.1480, French painter and illuminator. He was summoned to Rome in the 1440s to paint the portrait (now lost) of Pope Eugenius IV. His work subsequently revealed the influence of contemporary Italian artists, particularly of Fra Angelico. Fouquet's style is marked by a delicacy of line combined with an amplitude of volume in his portrayal of the human figure. He was court painter to Charles VII and Louis XI and a protégé of Agnès Sorel and Étienne Chevalier, treasurer to Charles VII. His best-known paintings include a diptych, one wing of which represents Agnès Sorel as the Virgin (Antwerp) and the other a kneeling figure of Étienne Chevalier, and his portraits of Charles VII and of the chancellor Guillaume Juvénal (both: Louvre). He is also famous for his illuminations in the Book of Hours for Chevalier (Chantilly) and those for the French translations of Boccaccio and of Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews (Bibliothèque nationale).

See studies by T. Cox (1931) and P. Wescher (tr. 1949).

Racine, Jean, 1639-99, French dramatist. Racine is the prime exemplar of French classicism. The nobility of his Alexandrine verse, the simplicity of his diction, the psychological realism of his characters, and the skill of his dramatic construction contribute to the continued popularity of his plays. Educated at Port-Royal, he broke with his Jansenist masters over his love for the theater. His first dramatic attempts, La Thébaïde (1664) and Alexandre le Grand (1665), were imitations of Corneille. With Andromaque (1667), a tragedy after Euripides, Racine supplanted Corneille as France's leading tragic dramatist. Corneille's friends, including Racine's former friend Molière, tried to ruin the young playwright, but the backing of Louis XIV and later of Boileau saved him. Racine's next play, Les Plaideurs (1668), wittily satirizes the law courts. His subsequent plays are milestones in French literature—Britannicus (1669); Bérénice (1670); Bajazet (1672); Mithridate (1673); Iphigénie en Aulide (1674); Phèdre (1677). After a concerted attack on Phèdre, Racine, in a revulsion against his irregular life, gave up the theater. In the same year he married and was appointed official historiographer by Louis XIV. Mme de Maintenon persuaded him to write Esther (1689) and Athalie (1691) for performance at Saint-Cyr. These differ from the earlier plays in their biblical subjects and use of a chorus and in the length of Esther, which has three acts instead of five. There are many English translations of Racine, among them those of John Masefield, Lacy Lockert, Kenneth Muir, and Robert Lowell.

See biography by G. Brereton (rev. ed. 1974); studies by R. Barthes (tr. 1964), P. France (1966), M. Turnell (1972), P. J. Yarrow (1978), and L. Goldman (1981).

Nouvel, Jean, 1945-, French architect, grad. École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1971). He opened his own firm in 1975, and became known for innovative techniques and use of modern materials and for eschewing a signature style and letting the site, intended use, cultural background, and other factors dictate the nature of his buildings. Nouvel achieved international recognition for his Arab World Institute, Paris (1987), with its curving etched glass wall and a facade with automated light-adjusting, aluminum-enclosed lenses arranged in patterns that recall Arab grillework. Other examples of the prolific architect's buildings include the Fondation Cartier, Paris (1994), a modernist steel-and-glass rectangle; the cantilevered Culture and Congress Center, Lucerne (1999); the Dentsu Building, Tokyo (2002), a knife-edged high-rise; the candy-hued, aggressively vertical Agbar Tower, Barcelona (2005); the Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis (2006), composed of piled, boxy shapes clad in deep blue metal; and the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris (2006), with its strange angles, long glass wall, and vividly colored components. Nouvel was awarded the Pritzker Prize in 2008.

See studies by O. Boissière (1996) and C. L. Morgan (1998); P. Jodidio, ed., Jean Nouvel by Jean Nouvel: Complete Works 1970-2008 (2 vol., 2009).

Rhys, Jean, pseud. of Ella Gwendoline Rees Williams, 1894-1979, English novelist, b. Dominica. Her novels written in the 1930s mercilessly exploit her own emotional life, depicting pretty, no-longer-young women who find themselves down and out in large European cities. Without work or funds, her characters must depend on men, chance encounters, or former lovers, for money to buy a hotel room, a drink, a pair of gloves. Rhys's vision is uncompromising and her literary style is spare. These early works include Quartet (1929), After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie (1931), and Good Morning, Midnight (1938). After a long retirement she published her masterpiece, Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), which drew equally on her own Caribbean childhood and on a reimagining of Charlotte Brönte's Jane Eyre from the perspective of Rochester's mad West Indian wife. It was followed by three short-story collections and Smile Please (1979), the first volume of an autobiography.

See biographies by C. Angier (1990) and L. Pizzichini (2009); F. Wyndham and D. Melly, ed., The Letters of Jean Rhys (1984); studies by T. Staley (1979), P. Wolfe (1980), D. Plante (1983), T. F. O'Connor (1986), N. R. Harrison (1988), M. L. Emery (1990), P. M. Frickey, ed. (1990), P. Le Gallez (1990), C. A. and D. Malcolm (1996), S. Sternlicht (1997), S. Maurel (1998), E. Savory (1998), S. Thomas (1999), C. Dell'Amico (2005), A. B. Simpson (2005), and C. Maslen (2009).

Ribaut or Ribault, Jean, c.1520-65, French mariner and colonizer in Florida, b. Dieppe. When Gaspard de Coligny decided to plant a French colony as an asylum for Huguenots in the New World, he appointed Ribaut to lead the expedition. Ribaut sailed from France in Feb., 1562, with five vessels carrying 150 colonists. On May 1, after entering the St. Johns River, which he called the River of May, he landed in Florida and claimed the land for France. Sailing north, he established his colony on what is now Parris Island, S.C. (see Sea Islands), naming it Charlesfort, and then returned to Dieppe in July, 1562. With the Roman Catholics and Huguenots at war in France, Ribaut fled to England and there published the English translation of his report to Coligny, The Whole and True Discouerye of Terra Florida (1563). Queen Elizabeth I of England, after urging him to join Thomas Stucley in establishing an English colony in Florida, accused Ribaut of planning to escape to France with the ships, and he was for some time imprisoned in the Tower of London. Meanwhile, Charlesfort had been abandoned, the colonists sailing for France when aid did not come. However, René de Laudonnière in 1564 established a new post, Fort Caroline, near the mouth of the St. Johns. In 1565, Ribault sailed with seven ships and reinforcements for Fort Caroline. The Spanish, alarmed by the activities of these Frenchmen and heretics, dispatched Pedro Menéndez de Avilés to drive them out. Ribaut's fleet avoided a fight with Menéndez at the mouth of the St. Johns, and the Spanish sailed to Saint Augustine. Ribaut followed, intending to annihilate them. With Fort Caroline virtually undefended, Menéndez marched overland and killed most of the colonists. Ribaut's fleet, meanwhile, was wrecked in a tropical hurricane. He and his followers, stranded on the coast S of St. Augustine, were captured by Menéndez, who massacred most of them. Ribaut's narrative has been reprinted in facsimile with notes by H. M. Biggar and a biography by Jeannette T. Connor (1927, repr. 1964).

See F. Parkman, Pioneers of France in the New World (1865, repr. 1965).

Bart, Jean, 1650-1702, French naval hero, b. Dunkirk. Of a seafaring family, he enlisted in the Dutch navy but entered French service as a privateer at the outbreak of the Dutch War (1672). In 1686 he was commissioned a navy captain. As a reward for his spectacular exploits, particularly in the War of the Grand Alliance, he was ennobled (1694) and made a rear admiral (1696) by King Louis XIV.
Baudrillard, Jean, 1929-2007, French social theorist and cultural critic. Trained as a sociologist, he taught at the Univ. of Paris X, Nanterre, from 1966 to 1987 and was a prolific writer. Influenced by Marxism, Roland Barthes, Thorstein Veblen, Marshall McLuhan, and others, he began as a critic of the consumer society, arguing in such works as The System of Objects (1968, tr. 1996), The Mirror of Production (1973), and Symbolic Exchange and Death (1976, tr. 1993) that the individual acquires meaning though objects, which are valued for their symbolic cultural significance (rather than their usefulness or monetary worth) and the world is marked the implosion of economics, politics, art, sexuality, and spheres of life, causing them to intermingle and interrelate in a confused, uncontrolled manner. Baudrillard subsequently developed a theory of media-saturated, late-capitalist technological consumer societies that saw them as characterized by simulation and hyperreality, in which the "real world" has been supplanted by artificially intensified substitutions for it and individuals are overwhelmed by the power of hyperreal objects. These ideas were developed in such works as Simulation and Simulacra (1981, tr. 1994), and Fatal Strategies (1983, tr. 1990). His later works reject critique in favor of a more aphoristic—at times, oracular—philosophical approach that is often intentionally provocative in its discussion of how appearance and illusion replace reality and truth in contemporary society. Thus The Gulf War Did Not Take Place (1991, tr. 1995) argues that the Persian Gulf War was more a media spectacle than a genuine war and in The Perfect Crime (1995, tr. 1996) he plays detective and investigates the "murder" of reality.

See selected writings ed. by M. Poster (2d ed. 2001); studies by D. Kellner (1989, 1990) and as ed. (1994), B. Turner (1993), N. Zurbrugg, ed. (1997), R. Butler (1999), and P. Hegarty (2004).

Claude, Jean, 1619-87, French Protestant theologian. As Protestant pastor at Paris, Claude received considerable attention for his disagreements with the Roman Catholic apologist Jacques Bossuet, Pierre Nicole, and the Jansenist Antoine Arnauld. He was expelled from France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
Clouet, Jean, called Janet or Jehannet, c.1485-1540, portrait and miniature painter. He was court painter and valet de chambre to the French king Francis I. He is thought to have been Flemish and may have been related to Jehan Cloët, painter to the duke of Burgundy in the late 15th cent. None of the works attributed to Jean Clouet can be proved to have been his. They include portraits of Francis I (Louvre), the dauphin Francis (Antwerp), and Charles de Cossé (Metropolitan Mus.); seven miniature portraits (Bibliothèque nationale); and a large number of portrait drawings, all of the highest quality. The drawings are characterized by a geometric simplicity of form and softness of modeling. His son, François Clouet, c.1510-c.1572, also called Janet or Jehannet, inherited his father's position, serving as court painter successively under Francis I, Henry II, Francis II, and Charles IX. His work is notable for its clarity and precision of draughtsmanship. He enjoyed a high reputation and was patronized by many notables of the court. Attributed to him are two portraits of Francis (Uffizi; Louvre); portraits of Catherine de' Medici (Versailles), Elizabeth of Austria (Louvre), and Charles IX (Vienna); and one thought to be of Diane de Poitiers (called Lady in Her Bath, National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.). There are also a large number of portrait drawings preserved in Chantilly and in the Bibliothèque nationale and the Cabinet des Estampes, Paris.

See his complete drawings, miniatures, and paintings, ed. by P. Mellen (1971).

Pucelle, Jean, c.1300-1355, French manuscript illuminator. Master of a celebrated workshop in Paris during the 1320s, Pucelle produced a masterpiece of illumination and a stylistic landmark in his Hours of Jeanne d'Évreux (c.1325; Cloisters, New York City). This tiny book of hours, commissioned for the Queen of France, was filled with exquisite, restrained drawings, many concerning the life of Louis IX (Saint Louis). Other works with miniature paintings by Pucelle include the Belleville Breviary (Bibliothèque nationale).
Bodin, Jean, 1530?-1596, French social and political philosopher. He studied and taught at Toulouse and enjoyed a successful legal career. His most notable book, Six livres de la republique (1576, tr. Six Bookes of the Commonweale, 1606), ranks as a major work of political theory. During the last half of the 16th cent., France was experiencing severe disorders caused by religious disagreements between Roman Catholics and Huguenots (see Religion, Wars of). Dismayed by this chaos, Bodin believed that a restoration of order could only be accomplished by religious toleration and the establishment of a fully sovereign monarch. These suggestions aroused a great deal of opposition in his time, but they now establish Bodin as a major theoretical contributor toward the development of the modern nation-state. His assertion that an absolutely sovereign monarch was necessary for a well-ordered state prefigured Hobbes and was an attack on remnants of feudal society. His economic policies concerning taxation and government involvement in trade were also influential.

See studies by J. H. Franklin (1963 and 1973), B. Reynolds (1931, repr. 1969), and J. P. Mayer, ed. (1979).

Bologne, Jean: see Bologna, Giovanni.
Joinville, Jean, sire de, 1224?-1317?, French chronicler, biographer of Louis IX of France (St. Louis). As seneschal (governor) of Champagne, Joinville was a close adviser to Louis, whom he accompanied (1248-54) on the Seventh Crusade. He opposed and refused to take part in the Eighth Crusade. His memoir of St. Louis, dictated between 1304 and 1309 for the instruction of Louis X, is an invaluable record of the king, of feudal France, and of the Seventh Crusade. It is written in a simple, delightful style, with moving reverence for the saintly and chivalrous king, with a sharp eye for graphic and psychological detail, and with occasional, sly humor. There are several English translations of Joinville's memoirs, notably those by Sir Frank Marzials (1908), Joan Evans (1938), and René Hague (1955).
Tijou, Jean, fl. 1689-c.1711, French designer of ironwork, known exclusively by his works in England. He arrived in England c.1689 when William and Mary, his lifelong patrons, began their reign. The purely French Renaissance type of design that he introduced greatly influenced English smithcraft and was perpetuated by his apprenticed artisans and by his New Book of Drawings (1693). His notable gates and railings adorn the grounds of Hampton Court Palace (1689-1700), and he fashioned the screens and grilles of St. Paul's Cathedral for Sir Christopher Wren. His cathedral irons show a characteristically lavish use of rosettes, figures, and embossed leafage, which marked the high point of English wrought ironwork.
Tinguely, Jean, 1925-91, Swiss artist. Tinguely is best known for his "metamechanics," electromechanical sculptures that perform tasks such as painting or playing music. Most celebrated of these works is Homage to New York (1959), a machine that destroyed itself when set into motion.
Lurçat, Jean, 1892-1966, French artist and writer. Lurçat worked as a painter and lithographer, illustrating numerous books. He is best known, however, as a tapestry designer. His brightly colored tapestries hang in many European royal and presidential palaces. A major example hangs in the Musée national d'Art moderne, Paris. Lurçat's writings include Designing Tapestry (tr. 1950). His brother André Lurçat, 1894-1970, architect and city-planner, worked extensively on the rebuilding of French cities after World War II.
Giono, Jean, 1895-1970, French novelist, b. Provence. His semiautobiographical novel, Jean le bleu (1932, tr. Blue Boy, 1946) concerns his childhood. His pastoral trilogy—Colline (1920, tr. Hill of Destiny, 1929), Un de Baumugnes (1929, tr. Lovers Are Never Losers, 1931), and Regain (1930, tr. Harvest, 1939)—describes Provençal life, emphasizing closeness to nature. Giono expressed his pacifism in Refus d'obéissance (1937). Among his later novels are Le Bonheur fou (1957, tr. The Straw Man, 1959), Angelo (1958), and Ennemonde (1968, tr. 1970).

See study by N. L. Goodrich (1973).

Giraudoux, Jean, 1882-1944, French novelist and dramatist. He was a prolific writer and combined his literary work with a long and successful diplomatic career. His early novels, which display his impressionistic, fanciful style, include Les Provinciales (1909) and Suzanne and the Pacific (1921, tr. 1923). Amica America (1919) relates a stay in the United States. In 1928, Giraudoux launched his dramatic career with Siegfried (tr. 1930), an adaptation of his novel Siegfried et le Limousin (1922, tr. My Friend from Limousin, 1923). Most of his subsequent plays, including Amphitryon 38 (1929, tr. 1937), La Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu (1935, tr. Tiger at the Gates, 1955), and Électre (1937), are imaginative modern reinterpretations of Greek myths, satirizing selfishness, greed, and moral frailty. The Madwoman of Chaillot (1945, tr. 1947) is a bitter satire on 20th-century materialism.

See studies by R. Cohen (1968, repr. 1970), G. Lemaitre (1971), and Paul Mankin (1971).

Vigo, Jean, 1905-34, French movie director, whose original name was Jean Almereyda. His reputation is based on two superb films: Zéro de Conduite (1933) and L'Atalante (1934, uncut release 1989). Zéro de Conduite is a surrealistic depiction of Vigo's years in boarding school and shows a poetic expressiveness and a marked feeling for the strange and unexpected. L'Atalante is a haunting evocation of life on a Paris river barge and in the city's river-front districts.

See biography by P. E. S. Gomes (1971); J. and H. Feldman, An Index to the Films of Jean Vigo (1976).

Renart, Jean, fl. 1212, French poet. He is believed to be the author of two charming romans courtois, or metrical romances—Guillaume de Dole and L'Escoufle [the hawk] as well as Le Lai de l'ombre. These works contain realistic sketches of medieval life and are marked by psychological insight. Renart's use of traditional songs in his verse novels was widely imitated.

See study by P. H. Beekman (1935).

Renoir, Jean, 1894-1979, French film director and writer, b. Paris; son of Pierre Auguste Renoir. He made his first film in 1926. Gathering around him a devoted coterie of actors and technicians, Renoir developed a collective approach to filmmaking, favoring improvisational acting, open-air shooting, and stories stressing the changeable nature of morality. Renoir's Grand Illusion (1937), a balanced, compassionate study of people in time of war, is considered one of the greatest motion pictures ever made.

Renoir worked in Hollywood during World War II, but never fully adapted to studio filmmaking. His postwar French films play on the slippery relationship between film and theater. His films include The Crime of M. Lange (1935), A Day in the Country (1936), The Human Beast (1938), The Rules of the Game (1939), The Southerner (1944), Diary of a Chambermaid (1945), The River (1951), and Picnic on the Grass (1959). Renoir wrote the biography Renoir, My Father (tr. 1962) and a novel, The Notebooks of Captain Georges (tr. 1966).

See his autobiography, My Life and My Films (1974, repr. 1991); biographies by C. Bertin (1986) and R. Bergan (1994); study by A. Bazin (tr. 1973); C. Faulkner, The Social Cinema of Jean Renoir (1986).

Anouilh, Jean, 1910-87, French dramatist. Anouilh's many popular plays range from tragedy to sophisticated comedy. His first play, L'hermine, was published in 1932. During the Nazi regime he wrote plays about resistance to oppression in terms of subjects from classical mythology; Antigone (1944, tr. 1946) is the most celebrated of these. Several of his later plays have contemporary and historical settings. Anouilh's works frequently contrast the worlds of romantic dreams and harsh reality. He has also written film scripts, one of which, Little Molière (1959) was successfully produced as a play. His later plays include The Waltz of the Toreadors (1952, tr. 1957), Poor Bitos (1958, tr. 1964), The Lark (1953, tr. 1955), Becket (1959, tr. 1960), The Rehearsal (1963), Dear Antoine (1969, tr. 1971), and The Navel (1981).

See studies by J. Harvey (1964), E. O. Marsh (1968), M. Archer (1971), B. A. Lenski (1973), H. G. McIntyre (1981), and C. N. Smith (1985).

Metzinger, Jean, 1883-1956, French painter and writer. With Gleizes he wrote Du cubisme (1912, tr. 1913), which presented the philosophical basis of the cubist aesthetic. In his paintings he employed cubist faceting and a stylized, richly detailed manner that was never wholly abstract. The Dancer (Albright-Knox Art Gall., Buffalo, N.Y.) is characteristic.
Charest, Jean, 1958-, Canadian politician. A lawyer and member of the Progressive Conservative party, he was been a member of parliament from Quebec since 1984. From 1986 to 1993 Charest served in cabinet positions—as minister of state for youth (1986-90) and fitness and amateur sport (1988-90), minister of the environment (1991-93), and deputy prime minister (1993). After the Progressive Conservatives suffered a crushing defeat in the 1993 parliamentary elections, Charest replaced Kim Campbell as head of the badly faltering national party and pledged to rejuvenate it. In the debate that preceded the Oct., 1995, referendum on Quebec independence from Canada, Charest proved himself a highly persuasive advocate of Canadian federalism and an important counterinfluence to Lucien Bouchard's impassioned separatist stance. Charest led the his party to a modest recovery in the 1997 national elections, but in 1998 he resigned as Progressive Conservative leader to assume leadership of the Quebec Liberal party. He led the Liberals to a majority in the National Assembly in 2003 and became Quebec's premier; he remained in the post after the 2007 and 2008 elections.
Toomer, Jean, 1894-1967, American writer, b. Washington, D.C., as Nathan Eugene Toomer. A major figure of the Harlem Renaissance, he is known for one work, Cane (1923), a collection of stories, poems, and sketches about black life in rural Georgia and the urban North.
Gabin, Jean, 1904-76, French film actor, b. Paris; his original name was Alexis Moncourge. Gabin's work as a cabaret entertainer led to a career in films. He was one of France's most popular actors. In his early roles, he often played the tough yet sympathetic anti-hero. His later films were frequently detective stories. His films include Pépé Le Moko (1936), La grande illusion (1937), Quai des brumes (1938), Le plaisir (1951), Un singe en hiver (1962), and Fin de journée (1969).
Buridan, Jean, d. c.1358, French scholastic philosopher. Rector of the Univ. of Paris, he was a follower of William of Occam and a nominalist. Buridan promoted the theory of impetus, arguing that a projectile continues in motion not, as Aristotle held, because it is supported by the surrounding air, but because of the force transmitted to it by the object that launched it. Buridan's theory of the will was that choice is determined by the greater good and that the freedom a person possesses is the power to suspend choice and reconsider motives for action. Traditionally but almost certainly erroneously he is supposed to have used the simile of "Buridan's ass"—an unfortunate animal midway between two identical bundles of hay and starving to death because it cannot choose between them.
Balue, Jean, c.1421-1491, French statesman, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. A trusted adviser of the French king Louis XI, he saved Paris for the king during the revolt of the League of the Public Weal (1465). Subsequently he conspired with Charles the Bold of Burgundy against Louis and arranged the meeting of the two rulers at Péronne (1468), where Charles made Louis a prisoner. After his release Louis held Balue prisoner from 1469 to 1480, when the pope intervened. The legend that Balue was kept in an iron cage is unproved. Balue went to Rome, but in 1484 he returned temporarily to France as a papal legate.
Ingelow, Jean, 1820-97, English author. Her poems are characterized by religious introspection and an intimate knowledge of nature. Among her best-known poems are "High Tide on the Coast of Lincolnshire, 1571" and "Seven Times One." Of her novels, Off the Skelligs (1872) and Sarah de Berenger (1879) are the most noted. She also wrote the children's story Mopsa the Fairy (1869).

See biography by M. Peters (1972).

Mabillon, Jean, 1623-1707, French scholar, a Benedictine monk. His De re diplomatica (1681; with a supplementary volume, 1704) was the first attempt to develop a critical method of determining the authenticity of documents. Mabillon thus created the science of diplomatics, which made historiography far more scientific. The work remains a classic in its field.
Chrétien, Jean (Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien), 1934-, Canadian politician and prime minister (1993-2003), b. Quebec. He received his legal education at Quebec's Laval Univ. and was a practicing lawyer until his 1963 election to parliament. A member of the Liberal party, he served (1963-84) in various ministerial posts under Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau. He lost a bid for his party's leadership in 1984 but served briefly as deputy prime minister under John Turner. Chrétien was successful in his 1990 try for the party leadership and became prime minister in 1993 after he led the Liberals to victory at the polls. In office he attempted to ameliorate Canada's unemployment, improve trade relations, and to restructure Canada's economy and preserve its unity. He faced criticism from all sides, however, for having failed to recognize how close Quebec would come to seceding from Canada in the Oct., 1995, referendum; for offering Quebec either too much or too little while shortchanging other provinces; and for lacking anything more than an improvised plan for Canadian unity. He led the Liberals to victory again in 1997, against a fragmented opposition. In 1998, Chrétien introduced Canada's first balanced budget since 1970. He led the Liberals to a third consecutive victory at the polls in 2000, again aided by a fragmented conservative opposition. In Oct., 2002, following a year of ethics scandals, cabinet changes, and increasingly open opposition to Chrétien within the Liberal party, he announced that he would not seek a fourth term as prime minister. He resigned as prime minister and as a member of parliament in Dec., 2003, and was succeeded as prime minister by Paul Martin.

See his autobiographies (1985, 2007).

Stafford, Jean, 1915-79, American writer, b. Covina, Calif., grad. Univ. of Colorado, 1936. Her literary reputation rests primarily on her exquisitely wrought short stories. Both these and her novels focus on lonely, isolated characters, usually adolescents, whom she depicts with gentle irony. Her works include the novels Boston Adventure (1944), The Mountain Lion (1948), and The Catherine Wheel (1952) and her Collected Stories (1969; Pulitzer Prize). She was married to Robert Lowell.
Monnet, Jean, 1888-1979, French economist and public official, proponent of European unity. In World War I, Monnet served on the Inter-Allied Maritime Commission, an international committee designed to secure war materials, foodstuffs, and shipping facilities for the Allies. He was later (1919-23) deputy general of the League of Nations. During World War II, as a member of the Washington-based British Supply Council (1940-43), he was instrumental in coordinating the Allied war effort. In 1945, Monnet was appointed to draft a plan for French economic revival; the Monnet Plan (1947) called for the modernization of French industry and agriculture with government help and supervision, and provided for a 48-hr work week to achieve economic goals. The resultant redevelopment encouraged French participation in the Marshall Plan and also in the Schuman Plan, drafted by Monnet himself. The Schuman Plan established the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), of which Monnet was first president (1952-55); he conceived the ECSC as the initial step toward European economic and political integration (see European Union). In 1955, Monnet organized the Action Committee for a United States of Europe, and became its first chairman a year later. The group supported establishment of the Common Market (the European Economic Community), which developed from many of Monnet's ideas.

See M. and S. Bromberger, Jean Monnet and the United States of Europe (tr. 1969); F. Duchěne, Jean Monnet: The First Statesman of Interdependence (1994).

Cottereau, Jean: see Chouans.
Cousin, Jean, c.1490-c.1560, celebrated French painter, designer, and sculptor. To him have been attributed the designs for the windows of various churches of Sens and Paris and a painting, Eva Prima Pandora (Louvre). He also designed tapestries for the Cathedral of Langres. Much of his work has been confused with that of his son Jean Cousin, c.1522-c.1594, who also designed stained glass. He illustrated the Livre de fortune (1568), and engravings of Ovid's Metamorphoses (1570) have been attributed to him. The influence of mannerism is apparent in his principal surviving painting, The Last Judgment (Louvre).
Cavalier, Jean, 1681?-1740, French Protestant soldier, a leader of the Camisards. From his home in the Cévennes region of France, he fled to Geneva (1701) when persecution of the Protestants became intolerable, but he returned when he knew that the Protestants were about to rebel. As chief leader of the Camisards, he showed remarkable military genius. In 1704 he made peace with Marshal Villars and received from King Louis XIV a commission as colonel and a pension. The peace was repudiated by his followers because it did not restore the Edict of Nantes (see Nantes, Edict of). Distrustful of the king, Cavalier fled from France. He fought for the duke of Savoy and later for England in Spain against the French. His later years were spent in Great Britain, where he was given a pension, made major general, and appointed governor of the isle of Jersey. The Memoirs of the Wars of the Cévennes, published in 1726 and dedicated to Lord Carteret, is attributed to Cavalier.

See biography by A. P. Grubb (1931).

Goujon, Jean, c.1510-c.1566, French Renaissance sculptor and architect. Although his work reflects the Italian mannerist style, particularly of Cellini, he developed his own extremely elegant, elongated, and often lyrical forms. Goujon is first recorded (1540) as having made columns for the organ loft of the Church of Saint-Maclou, Rouen. He was associated with the architect Pierre Lescot, with whom he first worked on the rood screen of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, Paris; some reliefs from the screen are now in the Louvre. Goujon also made the celebrated decorations for the Fountain of the Innocents (1547-49), several panels of which are also in the Louvre. Again in collaboration with Lescot, he worked on the Louvre itself, designing ornaments for the ground floor and attic. Goujon, a Huguenot, died in exile in Italy.
Du Bellay, Jean, 1492-1560, French humanist and diplomat, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church; brother of Guillaume Du Bellay and patron of his cousin, Joachim Du Bellay. He undertook numerous missions to England, Rome, and Germany for King Francis I. After the accession of Henry II (1547), he lived mostly in Rome. A religious moderate, he was criticized—as was his brother—for being too favorably inclined toward King Henry VIII of England, for whose divorce he secured the support of several French universities.
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-85, French painter and sculptor. Dubuffet began his artistic career in 1942. He created primitive, childlike, and humorous effects savagely opposed to established taste. For many works he prepared a thick impasto of materials such as asphalt, pebbles, and glass to enrich the surface texture of his paintings. Among his later works are numerous large, white, crudely representational sculptures with heavily outlined colored edges and facets. The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, has his Cow with the Subtile Nose and Beard of Uncertain Returns.

See studies by P. Selz (1962) and M. Loreau (tr. 1973).

Dunois, Jean, comte de, c.1403-1468, French general, called the Bastard of Orléans; natural son of Louis, duc d'Orléans. He joined the Armagnacs in the civil war during the reign of King Charles VI and was captured (1418) by the Burgundians (see Armagnacs and Burgundians). Released in 1420, he entered the service of the dauphin (later King Charles VII of France) during the Hundred Years War. Dunois had charge of the defense of Orléans when it was relieved (1429) by Joan of Arc, joined her subsequent campaign, and took part in the coronation of Charles VII. In 1436 he aided in the capture of Paris. He received (1439) the county of Dunois from his half brother Charles, duc d'Orléans. Charles VII later made him count of Longueville. Dunois was prominent in the conquest of Guienne and Normandy in the final years of the Hundred Years War. He participated in the Praguerie against Charles VII and was (1465) a leader of the League of the Public Weal against King Louis XI, but each time he regained favor at court.
Duvergier de Hauranne, Jean, 1581-1643, French theologian. He is often called the Abbé de Saint-Cyran from an abbacy he held in commendam (i.e., received the revenues from but did not actually administer). A personal friend of Cornelis Jansen, he collaborated with him and was one of the molders of Jansenism. He was also a close friend of the Arnauld family, and he was largely responsible for the conversion of Port-Royal into the stronghold of Jansenism. He was the first of the Jansenist controversialists against the Jesuits, and because of his views he antagonized Cardinal Richelieu, who had him imprisoned in 1638. He was released on the cardinal's death in 1642.
Daumat, Jean: see Domat, Jean.
Daurat or Dorat, Jean, 1508?-1588, French classical scholar. He taught (1546-56) at the Collège de Coqueret at Paris. Among his pupils were the poets Ronsard, Du Bellay, Baïf, and Belleau, who included him in the Pléiade (see under Pleiad).
Dausset, Jean, 1916-2009, French immunologist. A physician specializing in blood diseases, he was the laboratory director of the National Blood Transfusion Center (1946-63) and a professor at the Univ. of Paris (1958-77) and the Collège de France. He identified a gene complex (human leucocyte A complex, or HLA) that accounted for different immunological reactions in humans to blood transfusions and to the introduction of foreign tissues. This was similar to the H-2 complex in mice identified by George Snell. The discovery revolutionized the understanding of the human immune system and aided enormously in the success of organ transplant surgery. Dausset, Snell, and Baruj Benacerraf shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning the relationship between genetics and the immune system. In 1984 Dausset established a research institute in Paris, which became (1993) the Foundation Jean Dausset-CEPH; he served as its president until 2003. The nonprofit institute coordinated the first international collaboration for the mapping of the human genome. Dausset also coauthored a number of books including Histocompatibility (1976) and Immunology (1980).
Dorat, Jean: see Daurat, Jean.
Petitot, Jean, 1607-91, French painter in enamel, b. Switzerland. He was apprentice and later partner to a goldsmith, Pierre Bordier, whom he accompanied to England where he served Charles I until the monarch's execution. Returning to Paris, he enjoyed the patronage of Louis XIV and that of many celebrities of the court. On the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, Petitot was imprisoned as a Protestant, but escaped to Switzerland. He perfected the art of portrait painting in enamel, and his works are of great value. Examples are to be found in Amsterdam, in Geneva, and in the Louvre. His son and successor, Jean Louis Petitot, 1653-c.1730, was in the service of Charles II of England. Specimens of his work are preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Cocteau, Jean, 1889-1963, French writer, visual artist, and filmmaker. He experimented audaciously in almost every artistic medium, becoming a leader of the French avant-garde in the 1920s. His first great success was the novel Les Enfants Terribles (1929), which he made into a film in 1950. Surrealistic fantasy suffuses his films and many of his novels and plays. Among his best dramatic works are Orphée (1926) and La Machine infernale (1934, tr. 1936), in which the Orpheus and Oedipus myths are surrealistically adapted to modern circumstances. His films include The Blood of a Poet (1933), Beauty and the Beast (1946), and Orphée (1949). Among other works are ballets, sketches, monologues, whimsical drawings, and the text (written with Stravinsky) for the opera-oratorio Oedipus Rex (1927).

See his autobiography; comp. from his writings by R. Phelps (tr. 1970); biographies by F. Brown (1968), E. Sprigge and J.-J. Kihm (1968), and F. Steegmuller (1970); M. Crosland, ed., Cocteau's World (tr. 1972).

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (November 2, 1699December 6, 1779) was an 18th-century French painter. He is considered a master of still life.


Chardin was born in Paris, the son of a cabinetmaker, and rarely left the city. He lived on the Left Bank near Saint-Sulpice until 1757, when Louis XV granted him a studio and living quarters in the Louvre.

Chardin entered into a marriage contract with Marguerite Saintard in 1723, whom he did not marry until 1731. He served apprenticeships with the history painters Pierre-Jacques Cazes and Noël-Nicholas Coypel, and in 1724 became a master in the Académie de Saint-Luc.

Upon presentation of The Ray in 1728, he was admitted to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. The following year he ceded his position in the Académie de Saint-Luc. In November of 1731 his son Jean-Pierre was baptized, and a daughter, Marguerite-Agnès, was baptized in 1733. In 1735 his wife Marguerite died, and within two years Marguerite-Agnès had died as well.

Beginning in 1737 Chardin exhibited regularly at the Salon. He would prove to be a 'dedicated academician', regularly attending meetings for fifty years, and functioning successively as counsellor, treasurer, and secretary, overseeing in 1761 the installation of Salon exhibitions.

In 1744 he entered his second marriage, this time to Françoise-Marguerite Pouget. The following year a daughter, Angélique-Françoise, was born, but she died in 1746.

In 1752 Chardin was granted a pension of 500 livres by Louis XV. At the Salon of 1759 he exhibited nine paintings; it was the first Salon to be commented upon by Denis Diderot, who would prove to be a great admirer and public champion of Chardin's work. Beginning in 1761, his responsibilities on behalf of the Salon, simultaneously arranging the exhibitions and acting as treasurer, resulted in a diminution of productivity in painting, and the showing of 'replicas' of previous works. In 1763 his services to the Académie were acknowledged with an extra 200 livres in pension. In 1765 he was unanimously elected associate member of the Académie des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts of Rouen, but there is no evidence that he left Paris to accept the honor. By 1770 Chardin was the 'Premiere peintre du roi', and his pension of 1,400 livres was the highest in the Academy.

In 1772 Chardin's son, also a painter, drowned in Venice, a probable suicide. The artist's last known oil painting was dated 1776; his final Salon participation was in 1779, and featured several pastel studies. Gravely ill by November of that year, he died in Paris on December 6, at the age of 80.


Chardin's work had little in common with the Rococo painting that dominated French art in the 18th century. At a time when history painting was considered the supreme classification for public art, Chardin's subjects of choice were viewed as minor categories. He favored simple yet beautifully textured still lifes, and sensitively handled domestic interiors and genre paintings. Simple, even stark, paintings of common household items (Still Life with a Smoker's Box) and an uncanny ability to portray children's innocence in an unsentimental manner (Boy with a Top [below]) nevertheless found an appreciative audience in his time, and account for his timeless appeal.

Largely self-taught, he was greatly influenced by the realism and subject matter of the 17th-century Low Country masters. Despite his unconventional portrayal of the ascendant bourgeoisie, early support came from patrons in the French aristocracy, including Louis XV. Though his popularity rested initially on paintings of animals and fruit, by the 1730s he introduced kitchen utensils into his repertoire (The Copper Cistern, ca.1735, Louvre). Soon figures populated his scenes as well, supposedly in response to a portrait painter who challenged him to take up the genre. At any event, he was presently painting half-length compositions of children saying grace, as in Le Bénédicité, and kitchen maids in moments of reflection. These humble scenes deal with simple, everyday activities, yet they also have functioned as a source of documentary information about a level of French society not hitherto considered a worthy subject for painting. The pictures are noteworthy for their formal structure and pictorial harmony.

In 1756 he returned to the subject of the still life. In the 1770s his eyesight weakened and he took to painting in pastels, a medium in which he executed portraits of his wife and himself.

Today his paintings hang in the Louvre and other major museums. His work became popular with the general public after low-cost engravings of his paintings became available.

He is much admired for his still life work and portraiture in pastels, which are now highly valued. His self-portrait (top right) was produced in the latter medium. Chardin painted humble scenes that deal with simple, everyday activities. He used blocky simple forms perfectly organized in space, and few colors, mostly earth tones. He was a master of textures, shapes, and the soft diffusion of light.


Chardin's influence on the art of the modern era was wide-ranging, and has been well-documented. Edouard Manet's half-length Boy Blowing Bubbles and the still lifes of Paul Cézanne are equally indebted to their predecessor. He was one of Henri Matisse's most admired painters; as an art student Matisse made copies of four Chardin paintings in the Louvre. Chaim Soutine's still lifes looked to Chardin for inspiration, as did the paintings of Georges Braque, and later, Giorgio Morandi. In 1999 Lucian Freud painted and etched several copies after The Young Schoolmistress (National Gallery, London).



  • Artcylopedia: Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin.

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