Jean Baptiste Greuze, a French painter, born at Tournus, Burgundy, in 1726, died in Paris, March 21, 1805. He began as a portrait painter; failing in which, he devoted himself to pictures of genre. His first works in this class, "A Father explaining the Scriptures to his Family," and "The Paralytic Father," gained him admission to the academy as an associate. For this occasion he painted a historical piece, "Severus reproaching his son Caracalla," which the academy refused to notice, declaring that his admission was wholly due to his merit as a painter of genre. Greuze was ambitious to become a historical painter, and went to Rome to study the old masters; but he soon returned to his former style, in which to the end of his career he enjoyed a great reputation. His pictures are highly prized by collectors, and command enormous prices. Among the most celebrated are " The Blind Man Cheated," "The Village Bride," "The Broken Pitcher."
"The Unnatural Father," and "The Little Girl and the Dog;" the last is by many considered his best picture. These and many others have been repeatedly engraved.