BOURDON, Sébastien
(b. 1616, Montpellier, d. 1671, Paris)

The Beggars

Oil on wood, 49 x 65 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Toward 1637-38 Bourdon brought to Paris the fashion of the 'Bambocciata', the genre scenes of popular life in the suburbs of Rome made popular by the Netherlandish painter Pieter van Laer (known in Italy as Il Bamboccio).

Bourdon was the one French painter who came under the influence of Poussin in Rome but who also retained his individuality. He is one of the few French painters of the 17th century who was equally adept at portrait, landscape, mythological and genre painting. This versatility, noticed by his contemporaries, has meant that only in recent years have a number of his pictures been identified. His mythological pictures are confused with those of other Poussin followers, his landscapes with those of Dughet, and his genre pictures with those of the Netherlandish Bamboccianti.