Jacques Barraband was born in 1768. He was the son of Jacques Barraband and Marie-Anne Bebit as reflected in the his baptismal records of August 31, 1768 from the church of Sainte-Croix in Aubusson. Barraband attended the same art schools in Aubusson as Francis Roby de Faureix (b. 1770) and Etienne de La Seiglière de La Cour (b. 1768), painters to the King. He first followed in his father’s footsteps by working in the same tapestry factory but his true calling was as a painter of natural history. As per the entry from 1890 in Mémoires de la société des sciences naturelles, some paintings found in Aubusson have been attributed to Jacques Barraband but may well have been by his father’s work since the two shared the same name.
At a young age he moved to Paris where, it has been noted, that his artistic career was enabled by de Landriève, Rogier, Sallandrouze, and Dessartaux, who owned tapestry and carpet stores on rue de la Huchette. He attended l’Academie royale de peinture where he studied under Joseph-Laurent Malaine (b. 1745 d. 1809).
In 1798, France hosted its first national exposition which created a revival of the industrial arts industry. The event offered Barraband the opportunity to showcase his talents through its competitions. His success in these competitions created new opportunities and he found himself painting for the carpet manufacturers Gobelins and Savonnerie and as well as for Dihl and Gerhard, a porcelain manufacturer. His career was raised to a new height through the insect illustrations that were executed for the French naturalist Sonnini and for Fournier’s work on Egypt. His works include paintings for Sèvres, bird illustration for Levaillant and illustrations for Daudin.
He also played cupid! In 1805, he introduced one of his students Madame [Pauline] de Courcelles (Madame Knips 1781-1851) to the artist Knips (student of Van Spaendonck) and they soon married.
In 1807, he was appointed as a professor to the school of Arts et Dessin de Lyon. He died in Lyon in 1809 from a disease brought on by what is believed to be overexertion. He left behind a daughter Adeline Barraband who was a musician.
Mémoires de la société des sciences naturelles et archéologiques de la Creuse, Guberet, Volume 5, 1882
Mémoires de la société des sciences naturelles et archéologiques de la Creuse, Guberet, Volume 6, 1890
Histoire naturelle des rainettes, des grenouilles et des crapauds : dédiée à B.G.E.L. Lacépède by F.M. Daudin, 1800