Taillasson was born at Blaye, near Bordeaux. His poem "Le Danger des règles dans les Arts" was noted with approval by the Danish visitor to Paris, Tønnes Christian Bruun-Neergaard, and an elegy "Sur la Nuit", he thought, seemed fit to soften the least sensitive heart. He matured his talent in the Paris ateliers of Joseph-Marie Vien (from 1764) and Nicolas Bernard Lépicié and, having won third place in the Prix de Rome competition, 1769, spent four years, 1773–77, in Italy. At his return to Paris he set an early example of neoclassicism.
His Observations sur quelques grands peintres offered anti-academic advice somewhat at variance with his own manner; some of the collected observations had previously appeared in the Journal des Arts. He died in Paris.