VIGNON, Claude
(b. 1593, Tours, d. 1670, Paris)

Biography

French painter and engraver, born in Tours and active mainly in Paris. His richly eclective style was formed mainly in Italy, where he worked c. 1616-1622, and his openness to very diverse influences was later fuelled by his activities as a picture dealer. Paradoxically, in view of his varied sources of inspiration, his style is the most distinctive of any French painter of his generation - highly coloured and often bizarrely expressive. Elsheimer and the Caravaggisti were strong influences on his handling of light, and his richly encrusted brushwork has striking affinities with Rembrandt, whose work he is known to have sold. Vignon is said to have fathered more than twenty children by his two wives, and his sons Claude the Younger (1633-1703) and Philippe (1638-1701) were also painters.