Thursday, March 19, 2015

Hyacinthe Rigaud

Portrait de Louis XV
oil on canvas
271 x 194 cm
Versailles, musee national du chateau, France

Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743) was one of the most prolific and successful French portrait painters of the Baroque period, the period associated with the era of Louis XIV. He made an outstanding contribution to French painting, and was particularly noted for his portrait art depicting members of the French royal family.

He was trained at Montpellier before moving to Lyon and finally to Paris in 1681, where he devoted himself to portraiture. By 1688, when he received his first royal commission, he already had a considerable reputation among the wealthier bourgeoisie of Paris. From 1690 onward, his work, primarily for the court, consisted almost entirely of portraits. He painted over 400 pictures. His clientele spread outside France. Elected to the Academie Royale as a history painter in 1700, he later taught there.