Perrier, Francois

Perrier, Francois a French painter, was born at Macon, Burgundy, about 1590. His father was a goldsmith, and instructed him in the elements of design, but was unwilling that he should become a painter. Opposed in his wishes, young Perrier left his native place, and, being without means of a livelihood, he became the conductor of a blind mendicant who was traveling to Italy, and in this way succeeded in reaching Rome. On arriving there he was employed by a picture-dealer to copy several paintings, and some of his copies were shown to Lanfranco, who encouraged him to persevere and admitted him to his school. After several years' residence at Rome, Perrier returned to France and passed some time at Lyons, where he painted the Decollation of St. John, a Holy Family, and other works for the cloister of the Carthusians. Not content with a provincial field for the exercise of his abilities, Perrier vent to Paris, and associating himself with Vouet, was employed by him to paint from his design the chapel of the chateau de Chilly. Meeting with little encouragement, he revisited Italy in 1635, and applied himself to engraving the principal antique statues and bassreliefs, also a number of plates after the Italian masters. After the death of Simon Vouet he returned to Paris in 1645, and was commissioned to paint the walls of the Hotel de la Vrilliere (now the Bank of France). His pictures evince great warmth of imagination, but the design is often incorrect, the airs of his heads lack elegance and dignity, and his coloring is the dark. Perrier was a member of the Academy, and died at Paris, according to D'Argenville, in 1650. There are a number of etchings by him, incorrectly and negligently designed, and executed in a slight, hasty style, usually marked Paria, or with his monogram. Among them are the following: A set of one hundred prints from antique statues, published at Rome; a set of fifty taken from the ancient bass-reliefs; ten plates of the Angels in the Farnesina, after Raffaelle; two plates of the Assembly of the Gods, and the Marriage of Cupid and Psyche, from the paintings by Raffaelle in the Farnesina; the Communion of St. Jerome, after Agos. Caracci; the Flight into Egypt, after Agos. Caracci; the Nativity, after S. Vouet, and the Portrait of Simon Foet. Among subjects from his own designs are, the Holy Family, with St. John playing with a Lamb; the Crucifixion (inscribed Franciscus Perrier, Burgundy, pinx. et scul.); St. Roch curing the People (afflicted with the Plague; the Body of St. Sebastian supported by two Saints. See Spooner, Biog. Hist. of the Fine Arts, 2:677.

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