DERUET, Claude
(b. 1588, Nancy, d. 1662, Nancy)

Biography

French painter. As a young man he went to Italy, where he executed a small fresco in the Villa Borghese, Rome. He seems to have learned little from his Italian sojourn, however, and almost all the influences on his style are traceable to his native Lorraine. He was the favourite court painter of Duke Henry II of Lorraine and also of Louis XIII of France, whose drawing master he became. A touching record of this latter relationship survives in the drawing by Louis XIII of Deruet in the Musée Historique Lorrain at Nancy. None of Deruet's important decorations for the Lorraine court survive, and his frescoes for the Carmelite church were destroyed with the building during the Revolution of 1789.

Deruet had the distinction of being the master of Claude Lorrain for the year 1626-27. The contract of Claude's apprenticeship survives, but it was only on the completion of that year that Deruet began the Carmelite frescoes. Claude almost certainly left immediately, as he is recorded in Rome a few months later.

The only important commissioned pictures from Deruet's hand to survive are the four vast canvasses of Elements at Orléans, commissioned by Cardinal Richelieu, and the Rape of Sabines (Alte Pinakothek, Munich) offered to La Ferté in 1651 by the municipality of Nancy.