Jean-François Larrieu taught himself to paint and began to exhibit regionally from 1972. He settled in Paris in 1982. In 1986-1987, in what he calls his academic period, when he created the Post-Raphaelite group, his basic theme was man - his attitudes and his expression. Using large formats and strong contrasting but still restrained colours, he drew freely on romantic antiquity. In his scholarly and Neoclassical paintings, the symbolic intention is evident, touching the fantastic.
In 1990 he changed completely: he applied the basic principle that every animate object on earth is in fact made of the same essential ingredients, and decided to apply this to his painting. He created for himself a stock of several defined ingredients, figurative and abstract, capable of being interpreted in any way. He replicated these to saturation point on his canvases, intertwined with each other in limitless combinations, by a brilliant range of colour in an organic jumble of village dwellings exotic cabins, bells, domes or minarets. Out of this world, a live presence emerges.
Since 1983 he has exhibited at the Salon des Contemporains, Salon de la Figuration Critique and Salon d'Automne, of which he has been a member of the administrative council since 1990 and at the heart of which he founded the group Jeune Peinture in 1992. He was elected president in 1995. Also in 1995 he became vice-president of the Fédération des Salons d'Artistes. Outside Paris he has taken part in many public exhibitions: in 1989 Helsinki, International Fair of Contemporary Art; Exposition Internationale du Prix de Monaco; 1991 Santander, Santillana Foundation; 1991 Museum of Modern Art in Moscow and Leningrad, collectif du Salon Figuration Critique; 1992 Japan, travelling exhibition in the larger towns; 1993 Bayreuth, Musée Sursock, collectif du Salon d'Automne; 1994 Tokyo, Museum of Modern Art; Tokyo France-Japan Exhibition in the Buddhist Temple of Josenji; 1995 Shanghai National Museum of Fine Arts, collectif du Salon d'Automne; and others. Numerous prizes have been awarded to him, including: 1972 first Prix François Villon at Tarbes; 1978 Prix du Musée Béarnais at Pau; 1988 Prix du Salon d'Automne; 1989 Prix de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts; 1991 Goya Prize of the City of Madrid; 1993 Grand Prix de la Ville d'Agen.
He has shown his work in solo exhibitions, among them: 1979 Tarbes; 1983 Bordeaux; 1985 Paris; 1988 Musée de Pau; 1990, New York; 1991 Épernay; 1992 Lyons, Galerie Dyan Coquant; 1993 Bern; 1994 Orléans, château du Croc; 1995 St-Jean Cap Ferrat.