Jan Piotr Norblin
born 1745, died 1830
Painter, draughtsman and lithographer born in Paris. A student of Francesco Giuseppe Casanova, a famed painter of battle scenes and genre studies in the style of Watteau. From 1769, he studied at the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris, then at the École royale des élèves protégés under Louis-Michel Van Loo and Jean-Marie Vien between 1770-71. In 1774, he was invited by Adam Kazimierz Czartoryski to Poland, and worked for the noble family on commission, mainly as a painter, decorating their residences in Warsaw, Powązki, Wołczynia and Puławy. He was also hired by Helena Radziwiłł to decorate the Arcade at Nieborów. From 1790, he worked in Warsaw and mentored a number of students, including Aleksander Orłowski, Michał Płoński and Jan Rustem. During the Kościuszki rebellion, he followed the general’s camp, carrying out a series of drawings from the battlefield. He was a professor in the painting workshop of Marcello Bacciarelli at the Royal Castle, lecturing on historical painting. From ca. 1773, he also worked in printmaking, revealing a fascination with the works of Rembrandt. He employed etching techniques with a dry needle, closely studying Rembrandt’s use of chiaroscuro and painterly values in graphic compositions. In 1804, he returned to Paris, where he resided until his death.