(b. 1612, Troyes, d. 1695, Paris)


French painter who was the rival of Le Brun but an exponent of the same Academic theories. Like Le Brun he was a pupil of Vouet, but he went to Rome in 1636 and remained there until 1657, forming his style on the approved models of the Carracci, Domenichino and Poussin. He returned to Paris on the orders of Louis XIV and decorated the dome of the Val-de-Grâce (1663), but his principal importance was as portrait painter to the Court. He revived the earlier Italian type of allegorical portrait, and a good example is the Marquise de Seignelay as Thetis (1691, London, National Gallery).

He was strongly opposed to the Académie royale, and, in spite of his own stylistic origins, championed the Venetian or 'colourist' school; this, however, was probably only to oppose Le Brun. When Le Brun died in 1690 Mignard was at once made 'premier peintre', and, on the King's orders, the Academy had, in a single sitting, to appoint Mignard Associate, Member, Rector, Director and Chancellor of the body he had so long opposed.

There are pictures by him in the Royal Collection, Windsor, Honolulu, London and many French museums.

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