Landscape painter, painter, marine painter, flower painter, ornament draughtsman, draughtsman, etcher, commercial artist, decorator, decorative artist, genre painter, pastel artist and court painter
The life dates and extensive oeuvre of J. Pillement are indicative of a gifted, multifaceted artist attuned to the taste of his time, who spent a major part of his career travelling. He began his career as a designer of cartoons for the Paris Gobelin manufactory, but his true domain was ornament, especially Chinoiserie and floral and landscape painting. In 1745 Pillement journeyed to Madrid and Lisbon, then spent ten years from 1750 to 1760 in London. Stops in Turin, Rome, Milan, Vienna and Warsaw followed. In 1778, after he had produced several works for the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette appointed him her court painter. The events of the Revolution may have finally contributed to the fact that Pillement died in his homeland in poverty and obscurity. With his paintings, drawings, and prints, Pillement did not so much develop an individual style as adapt to a general period style in which, with a highly developed sense for decoration the most heterogeneous elements were combined, disseminated through prints, and widely employed. In this respect, Pillement was much like J.-B. Huet. Significantly, the interest of a bourgeois collector like Dr. Grambs, who owned a number of Pillement's works, focused mainly on his landscapes, in which he assimilated the tradition of the Netherlandish painters of the seventeenth century as well as the style of such contemporaries as Hubert Robert and J. Vernet.