Jacques-Laurent Agasse

Jacques Laurent Agasse was a Swiss-born painter specializing in equine, exotic and landscape paintings. Born in Geneva, Switzerland on March 24, 1767, Agasse grew up on a farm in the country, constantly surrounded by animals and nature. His love for drawing began as he copied pictures of animals, becoming quite adept at replicating them. He enrolled in the Calabri Academy of Drawing in 1782 and relocated to Paris upon his graduation to frequent the veterinary school and better understand the anatomy of animals. In Paris, he worked as a pupil and assistant to Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) in his studio but his internship was interrupted after three years with the onset of the French Revolution. To help his family from financial ruin, he moved back to Geneva and remained there painting for the next ten years.

Around the turn of the century, Agasse moved to England and stayed with some family friends who had artist connections. In 1801, he submitted his first painting to the Royal Academy and would consequently submit one each year for the next forty-nine years. As his talent grew, Jacques-Laurent Agasse’s subjects altered from horses, landscapes, a few portraits and some exotic animals. His paintings were rumored to be on par with George Stubbs (1724–1806), with the close observation of details and technical refinement. He remained in London until his death on December 17, 1849.