Portrait of Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne


Jean-Baptiste Greuze ( French, 1725 - 1805 )

early 1790s
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General Description

Jean-Baptiste Greuze captures the subject of this portrait, a stern man who would help make history, with gripping psychological penetration. Jean-Nicolas Billaud-Varenne was an ardent republican during the early stages of the French Revolution, and he was later an active participant in the Terror, the Revolution's most violent phase. Greuze's portrait catches the moral earnestness of the time and suggests Billaud-Varenne's profound commitment to the political ideals of France's First Republic.

Excerpt from

Heather MacDonald, DMA label copy, 2009.

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