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

Croesus Receiving Tribute from a Lydian Peasant

Oil on canvas, 105 x 149 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Tours

After his return from Rome to Paris in 1624, Vignon became enormously prolific; a huge number of pictures, several hundred in all, were documented at the time of his death. As he matured in Paris and lightened his palette a little, Vignon still maintained his sense of drama. For example, in his Croesus Receiving Tribute from a Lydian Peasant, there is a lessening of interest in bizarre surface texture, and the poses of the figures round the table show a return to the conventions of Caravaggism.

There is some doubt about the identification of the main figure as Croesus, but the story fits enough. The moral is clear - great wealth is amassed by cruel methods.