Perpignan 1659 - 1743 Paris
Hyacinthe Rigaud was a portrait painter for the French royal family. He captured four generations of the House of Bourbon on canvas. In his depictions of rulers, courtiers, aristocracy and clergy he reflected the age of Louis XIV.
Very early on his teachers in Montpellier had drawn Rigaud’s attention to the art of Van Dyck, from which he evolved his own style of portrait painting. In 1681 Rigaud moved to Paris and, at the advice of Le Brun, devoted himself exclusively to portraiture. He commenced his career as court painter in 1688 with the widely-admired portrait of Duke Philip of Orleans, the brother of the king. In 1694 he d his first portrayal of the Sun King.
Rigaud’s portrait style was considered unsurpassed in its combination of elegance and stateliness. The European high aristocracy who were guests in French capital therefore readily sat for him. His biographer Joseph (Jean) Roman listed the portrait sittings of six kings, 36 princes, 21 marshals and 18 dukes as well as 64 cardinals, archbishops and bishops.