Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Parmentier, James
PARMENTIER, JAMES (JACQUES) (1658–1730), painter, born in France in 1658, was nephew of the celebrated painter, Sebasté Bourdon, who encouraged and gave him instruction in drawing, and would have done more for him but for his death in 1671. After some further instruction from a relation, Parmentier came to England in September 1676, to work under J. C. De La Fosse, the decorative painter, who was then engaged in painting the ceilings at the Duke of Montagu's house in Bloomsbury, for which Parmentier laid in the dead colours. He was then sent over by William III to the royal palace at Loo in Holland, and gained favour for his decorative skill; but he threw up his work through a dispute with Marot, who was surveyor of the royal palaces in Holland. Parmentier then returned to France, and made a visit to Italy. Being of the protestant faith, he left France again for England after the revocation of the edict of Nantes, and returned to London. Not finding sufficient patronage there, he accepted an invitation to go down to Yorkshire, where he found plenty of employment for some years, painting many portraits, and, among other historical works, an altar-piece of ‘The Lord's Supper’ for Holy Trinity Church, Hull, presented by himself in return for the hospitality shown him there; another altar-piece for St. Peter's Church at Leeds, and a staircase for the Duke of Norfolk at Worksop Manor, Nottinghamshire. On the death in 1721 of Louis Laguerre [q. v.] Parmentier returned to London, hoping to succeed to Laguerre's practice as a decorative painter. He did not, however, obtain what he wanted, and, falling into indifferent circumstances, determined to return to Holland and finish his days among relatives at Amsterdam. This intention was frustrated by his death, which took place in London on 2 Dec. 1730. He was buried in St. Paul's, Covent Garden. When in Holland, Parmentier painted the ceiling and two chimney-pieces in the chief room of the royal palace at Binnenhof, now the parliament-house at the Hague. He was a member of the guild of St. Luke at the Hague, becoming a master on 1 Dec. 1698. At Painters' Hall in London there is a painting by him of ‘Diana and Endymion.’ A portrait of St. Evremond by him was engraved more than once; one of Lord-chief-justice Sir James Reynolds was engraved by J. Faber in mezzotint, and another of Marot, mentioned above, by J. Gole, also in mezzotint. Claude Du Bosc [q. v.], the engraver, was to engrave a large print of the ‘Temple of Solomon,’ after a painting by Parmentier, but it is doubtful whether this was ever executed.
[Vertue's Diaries (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 23076); Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Dussieux's Artistes Français à l'Etranger; Obreen's Archief voor Nederlandsche Kunstgeschiedenis, v. 139.]