1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Guérin, Jean Baptiste Paulin

GUÉRIN, JEAN BAPTISTE PAULIN (1783–1855), French painter, was born at Toulon, on the 25th of March 1783, of poor parents. He learnt, as a lad, his father’s trade of a locksmith, whilst at the same time he followed the classes of the free school of art. Having sold some copies to a local amateur, Guérin started for Paris, where he came under the notice of Vincent, whose counsels were of material service. In 1810 Guérin made his first appearance at the Salon with some portraits, which had a certain success. In 1812 he exhibited “Cain after the murder of Abel” (formerly in Luxembourg), and, on the return of the Bourbons, was much employed in works of restoration and decoration at Versailles. His “Dead Christ” (Cathedral, Baltimore) obtained a medal in 1817, and this success was followed up by a long series of works, of which the following are the more noteworthy: “Christ on the knees of the Virgin” (1819); “Anchises and Venus” (1822) (formerly in Luxembourg); “Ulysses and Minerva” (1824) (Musée de Rennes); “the Holy Family” (1829) (Cathedral, Toulon); and “Saint Catherine” (1838) (St Roch). In his treatment of subject, Guérin attempted to realize rococo graces of conception, the liveliness of which was lost in the strenuous effort to be correct. His chief successes were attained by portraits, and those of Charles Nodier and the Abbé Lamennais became widely popular. He died on the 19th of January 1855.