Biography of Louis Léopold Boilly (1761-1845)

French painter, born in La Bassée July 5, 1761 and died in Paris on January 4, 1845. Prolific painter, is especially known for his satirical portraits of life and Parisian traditions during the revolution and the Empire. It is also recognized being a pioneer in the use of the technique of lithography.

Young woman ironing (oil on canvas, 1800). Museum of fine arts (Boston).

Boilly artistic career began at the early age of 11. In 1785 he/she moved to Paris and began to paint elegant scenes that eventually came to gain some popularity. During the French Revolution was made suspect by the theme of his works, which were satires of contemporary morality. In order to clarify their tendencies, he/she painted Le Triomphe de Marat, a distorted portrait of the revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat painted a really flattering perspective. This work earned the artist the admission into the Republican society of arts. During the directory and the Consulate, he/she continued painting scenes in which represented the customs of his time. In 1804 Salon (the official French art exhibit) sent two works: L' Arrivée d'une diligence dans the cour des Messageries and Le Sculpteur Houdon dans are atelier, and both earned two awards. In 1823 he/she produced his first lithographs, a humorous series called Grimaces. It made 5,000 portraits throughout his life; about 500 of his works constitute graphic documents of life in the Paris of his time.