(b Laon, 5 March 1743; d Paris, 1 March 1811).
French painter and draughtsman. In 1764 he entered the studio of
Noël Hallé, whose work strongly influenced his early paintings.
Alexander Cutting the Gordian Knot (Paris, Ecole N. Sup. B.-A.),
with which he won the Prix de Rome in 1767, is a brilliant exercise
in the grand academic style as conceived by the followers of
François Boucher. After a period at the Ecole Royale des Elèves
Protégés he completed his training at the Académie de France in Rome
from 1771 to 1774. Although he impressed the then director of the
Académie, Charles-Joseph Natoire, and formed friendships with the
painters François-Guillaume Ménageot, François-André Vincent and
Joseph-Benoît Suvée and the architects Pierre-Adrien Pâris and
Jean-Jacques-Marie Huvé (1742–1808), his artistic activity during
his years in Rome is obscure. A number of spectacular drawings in
red chalk, such as those of the Villa d’Este, Tivoli (Orléans, Mus.
B.-A.) and the Villa Colonna and Villa Negroni (Valence, Mus. B.-A.
& Hist. Nat.), are the only evidence of Berthélemy’s talent for
landscape, while an oil study of a Dying Warrior (Los Angeles, CA,
Co. Mus. A.) is the only known surviving example of the works he was
obliged, like the other pensionnaires, to send to Paris for