Prud'hon, Pierre-Paul

BORN 4 Apr 1758, Cluny - DIED 14 Feb 1823, Paris
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 29, ligne 03, T, 30)

Prud'hon was sent to the Dijon Academy by the bishop of Mâcon in 1774 and from 1780 on he worked for engravers in Paris. In 1784 he won de Prix de Rome. In Rome he hardly created any paitings, but he became friends with Canova and his later work shows the influences of Raphael, Leonardo and Corregio. In 1787 he returned to Paris where he painted portraits and made more engravings. He supported the French Revolution and eventually became Court Painter to Napoleon and painted the portrait of his empress Joséphine in 1805 (now at the Louvre).

Prud'hon was also known for his mythological and allegorical subjects and he designed furniture for Joséphine and for Napoleon's son. Different from his paintings his furniture was neoclassistic and he had a considerable influence on the interior decorators of his time.

Prud'hon had married when he was only nineteen and the marriage had turned into a disaster. When his wife died in 1803 he started a liaison with his pupil Constance Mayer. After her suicide in 1821 his health detoriated and he died two years later.

Related persons
• painted Beauharnais, Joséphine de
• was the lover of Mayer-Lamartinière, Constance


The grave of Pierre-Paul Prud'hon and his pupil and mistress Constance Mayer at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (06 Mar 1995)


Prutscher, Otto

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 25 Apr 2022