CHAMPAIGNE, Philippe de
(b. 1602, Bruxelles, d. 1674, Paris)
Portrait of Omer Talon1649
Oil on canvas, 225 x 162 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington
The sitter was a Jansenist who favoured the establishment of a French national church and spoke out against papal rights in speeches before the Parliament. In 1641 became premier avocat général (attorney general) of the Paris Parliament. He died in 1652.
Modern scholars consider this painting one of Champaigne's greatest portraits. The formula he adopted for a seated portrait of an important man had roots in papal portraits by Raphael and Titian. Van Dyck expanded and embellished the type, and Champaigne may have known and draw inspiration from Van Dyck's portrait Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio.