Guillaume Guillon-Lethière

Guillaume Guillon-Lethière
Photo of Guillaume Guillon-Lethière
Born (1760-01-10)10 January 1760
Sainte-Anne, Guadeloupe, France
Died 22 April 1832(1832-04-22) (aged 72)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Known for painting
Movement Neoclassicism
Awards Prix de Rome, Second Grand Prize
Patron(s) Jean-Baptiste Descamps, Gabriel-François Doyen

Guillaume Guillon-Lethière (10 January 1760 22 April 1832) was a French neoclassical painter.


Born in Guadeloupe in 1760 to a French colonial official named Pierre Guillon[1] and a disenfranchised "mulatto" mother,[2] Lethière has been often written about in the context of French colonial history and the French Revolution.

At 14 years old, he moved from Guadeloupe to Metropolitan France, and by 17 he had become the student of Gabriel François Doyen at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture.[3] Lethière won second prize in the Prix de Rome of 1784 for his painting Woman of Canaan at the Feet of Christ. He entered again two years later, and while he did not win, he succeeding in receiving support to travel to Rome where he further developed his neoclassical style. Lethière remained in Rome for several years, and returned to Paris in 1791 to open a painting studio in direct competition with Jacques-Louis David.[4] In 1818 Lethière was finally elected and also awarded the Légion d’honneur,[5] and a year later he became a professor at the École des Beaux-Arts.[4]

Among his students was Isidore Pils and Lithuanian painter Kanuty Rusiecki. He was foster father to Mélanie d'Hervilly, later Hahnemann.


Further reading

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