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Jean-Pierre Houël
Jean-Pierre Houël, by François-André Vincent.jpg
Portrait of Jean-Pierre Houël by François-André Vincent
Born (1735-06-28)June 28, 1735
Died November 14, 1813(1813-11-14) (aged 78)
Nationality French
Occupation painter

Jean-Pierre-Louis-Laurent Hoüel (1735-1813) was a French painter, engraver and draftsman.

During his long life Hoüel witnessed the reign of Louis XV, the French Revolution, and the period of Napoleon's First Empire. He was born into a family of prosperous artisans, who sent him to the drawing academy in Rouen when he was fifteen.

Here he was exposed to the art of early Dutch and Flemish painters, which was to have a defining impact on his chosen specialty of landscape painting. In 1758 Hoüel published a book of landscape engravings, and in 1768 he painted the Duc de Choiseul's property. The following year his influential patrons secured a place for him at the French Academy in Rome.

He spent the years 1776 to 1779 traveling in Sicily, Lipari, and Malta, after which he published numerous beautifully illustrated travel books based on his journey. Hoüel's main intention was to illustrate local area's, but his delicate applications of watercolor also magnificently captured the effects of light and atmosphere.

Prise de la Bastille
Prise de la Bastille, 1789

In his later years Hoüel published two illustrated treatises on elephants. Drawings of other animals suggest he was preparing to publish further zoological works; however, his death at the age of seventy-eight cut short his plans.

One of his well known paintings is the "Prise de la Bastille" (The Storming of the Bastille), 1789. The capture of the Bastille prison was an important event in the Revolution, and remembered with a celebration and holiday on the anniversary, known as Bastille Day.

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