(b. 1574, Paris, d. 1645, Paris)


Dumonstier (also spelt Du Monstier; Dumontier; Dumoustier; Du Moustier] was a French family of artists. At least 11 artists of this name are known, working variously as painters, draughtsmen, designers, goldsmiths and sculptors, and active from the 16th century to the 18th. The exact relationships of some family members are difficult to determine; these include Cosme Dumonstier I (d. 1552), a goldsmith known to have worked for Rouen Cathedral; Étienne Dumonstier I (fl. Rouen, c. 1501), an illuminator working at the château of Gaillon for Cardinal Georges d'Amboise; Cardin (or Carentin) Dumonstier, a sculptor mentioned in the accounts of the Bâtiments du Roi from 1540 to 1550; and Charles Dumonstier, active in the mid-18th century as a painter and engraver: his works include portraits of Louis XV and Marie Leczinska (Paris, Louvre). The main branch of the family began with the painter and illuminator Jean Dumonstier (d. c. 1535), whose son Geoffroy Dumonstier (c. 1510-1573) followed his profession. Another son, Meston Dumonstier (fl. c. 1535), was a goldsmith in Rouen. Geoffroy's sons Étienne Dumonstier II (c. 1540-1603), Pierre Dumonstier I and Cosme Dumonstier II (c. 1545-1605), as well as Cosme and Etienne's respective sons, Daniel Dumonstier and Pierre Dumonstier II (c. 1585-1656), are best known as portrait draughtsmen working for the French court. Daniel's sons Etienne III and Nicolas were also artists. The last member of this branch was Nicolas's son Louis Dumonstier (b. 1641), a mediocre reproductive engraver.

Daniel Dumonstier was a painter and draughtsman. In 1601 he was appointed painter to the Dauphin (later Louis XIII) and in 1603 Peintre et Valet de Chambre to Henry IV. He enjoyed great favour at court; in 1622 he was granted accommodation in the Louvre, and in 1626 he was appointed Peintre et Valet de Chambre to Gaston, Duc d'Orléans, the King's brother. His witty and satirical spirit brought him the friendship of men of letters such as François de Malherbe, Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc and Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux. His collection of natural history curiosities, medals, objets d'art, books and manuscripts was famous: Jules, Cardinal Mazarin, acquired some of it after his death, while another part of it, judged 'licentious and indecorous', was destroyed on the orders of Anne of Austria.