Rousseau, Jacques (DNB00)

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ROUSSEAU, JACQUES (1626–1694), painter, born in Paris in 1626, was instructed in landscape-painting by Herman van Swanevelt, the famous Dutch painter, then resident in Paris, who was connected with him by marriage. At an early age he went to Rome and acquired great skill in the fashionable style of combining classic architecture and landscape. On his return he was elected a member of the French academy, and employed by Louis XIV at Marly; but on the revocation of the edict of Nantes, being a protestant, he left France for Switzerland, and declined the overtures of Louvois to return and complete his work. He then went to Holland, and thence to England, at the invitation of Ralph, duke of Montagu, for whom, in conjunction with De la Fosse and Monnoyer, he decorated Montagu House, Bloomsbury (afterwards the British Museum). For this work he received an annuity from the duke. Rousseau was employed by William III at Hampton Court, where some of his decorative panels still remain. He was a prominent member of the French refugee settlement in London, and on his death, which took place in Soho Square, London, in 1694, he left many charitable benefactions for the benefit of his fellow-refugees. He etched some of his own landscapes in a spirited fashion. A portrait of Rousseau, by Claude Lefebre, was formerly in the possession of the Earl of Burlington.

[Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, ed. Wornum; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; De Piles's Lives of the Painters; Dussieux's Artistes Français à l'étranger; Law's Catalogue of the Pictures at Hampton Court.]

L. C.