(b Toulouse, 6 Dec. 1750; d Paris, 16 Feb. 1819). French landscape painter. Between 1769 and 1785 he spent several years in Italy, mainly Rome. Influenced particularly by Nicolas Poussin, he became a leading upholder of the classical tradition in landscape painting and argued that it should be considered equal in status to history painting. However, although his finished pictures were in a grand, highly composed style, he was also a leading exponent of the oil sketch: he thought that direct study from nature was a prerequisite for his formal works.
Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)