Rousseau, James

, a distinguished French painter, was born at Paris in 1630. His first studies were under the direction of Swanefelt, but he afterwards visited Italy, and accomplished himself in architecture, perspective, and landscape. On his return to Paris he immediately obtained eminence, and was employed at IVLrly. He was truly accomplished in painting edifices from his minute attention to the principles of architecture. After being patronized by Louis XIV. he was compelled to leave his native country on account of his religion, being a strict protestant. Housseau afterwards visited Holland, whence he was invited to England by the duke of Montague, to exert his talents on the magnificent palace at Bloomsbury, now the British museum. Here he painted a great deal; and many of his works are also to be seen at Hampton Court. He died in England in 1694, and was buried in St. Anne’s, Soho.

In the choice of his scenes he shews remarkable elegance of taste; his grounds are well broken, his distances wellconducted, his skies finely imagined, as well as judiciously adapted, and there appears great harmony in most of his compositions. He ornamented his landscapes with edifices and ruins, in the Roman taste of architecture, after the manner of Poussin; his figures were placed in such perspective proportions as deluded the eye agreeably to the proper point of sight; and in his architecture we see elegance of fancy united with nature and truth.

The pictures of this master are not frequently to be purchased; and when they are, their estimation is high. He | was a man of probity, piety, and benevolence; and at his death he bequeathed the greatest part of his substance to relieve those in England who, like himself, were refugees on account of the French persecution. 1


Pilkington.—Walpole’s Anecdotes.—Strutt’s Dictionary.