Philip Mercier was born in Berlin, the son of a French Huguenot tapestry worker at the court of the Elector of Brandenburg. Little is known of his early career, but it is thought that he studied under the Berlin court painter Antoine Pesne and probably spent time in France and Italy. The artist, in some way, obtained considerable familiarity with the work of Watteau, some of whose pictures he engraved. Mercier moved to England in 1716 becoming court painter to Frederick, Prince of Wales, from 1729 to 1736. He is an important figure in the introduction of French taste into England.
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