French School of the 17th century, workshop of Pierre Mignard (1612-1695)
Portrait of Madame de Maintenon around 1670, represented as a widow, she mourns her husband Scarron and at that time she is in charge of the children of King Louis XIV.
Oil on canvas of 49 cm by 39 cm
Black wooden frame of 68 cm by 58 cm
Madame de Maintenon (1635-1719)
French aristocrat and secret wife of Louis XIV, Madame de Maintenon leaves the image of a wise and mysterious woman who would have had a great influence on the king.
The granddaughter of the Protestant poet Agrippa d'Aubigné. Raised in the Calvinist faith, she lived an eventful childhood marked by six years spent in Martinique. At the death of her father, she was taken in by her godmother, Madame de Neuillant, who immediately converted her to Catholicism (1649).
At the age of sixteen, the girl is forced to marry Paul Scarron, a crippled poet of 25 years his elder. Thanks to this union, she worked alongside the intellectuals of the time, such as Madame de Sévigné and Madame de La Fayette. Left without a penny after the death of Scarron in 1660, she is noticed by Madame de Montespan, the mistress of King Louis XIV. This is how she was appointed governess of the children of the couple as early as 1669.
A wise and pious woman who does not lack wit, she ends by seducing the king, who calls her Marchioness de Maintenon. A lover since 1679, the couple married in secret after the death of the queen, Marie-Therese, in 1683. Madame de Maintenon, discreet queen but with unfailing morality, would have had a great influence on the king. Some historians even question the role that it would have played in the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
After the death of Louis XIV in 1715, she retired to Saint-Cyr, where she had created a school for a young girl in 1686. Mme de Maintenon remained there until her death in 1719.
Pierre Mignard (1612-1695)
Pierre Mignard entered the studio of the painter Jean Boucher in Bourges in 1624. Back in Troyes, he worked at a sculptor named François Gentil before leaving for Fontainebleau - capital of the arts of the time - where he studied Le Primatice, Rosso Fiorentino and Martin Fréminet.
In 1635 he went to Rome where he met Nicolas Poussin, perhaps the painter Sassoferrato and Anna Avolara, the daughter of an architect, whom he fell in love with, but whom he would marry in 1660 as a result of obstacles various. Having become famous in Rome, he was naturally recalled to France by Louis XIV in 1657. On the way to Paris, he met Moliere at Avignon with his brother Nicolas.
Mignard shares his career between the portrait especially with the aristocratic society of the kingdom and the great decorative compositions. He painted in particular at the Palace of Versailles. In June 1687 he was ennobled by the King, who in 1690, when Charles Le Brun died, named him his first painter. In 1690, he became the director of the royal factories and brought him to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture as a Director.
He was given portraits of Bossuet, Jacques de Cordon d'Evieu, Princess Palatine, the Duchesse de Chatillon, the Comtesse de Fiesque, Julie d'Angennes, Mademoiselle de Montpensier, Mademoiselle de Valois and The Grand Duchess of Tuscany, Madame de la Sabliere, the Duchess of Brissac, the Duchesse de Ventadour, Madame de Montespan, Mademoiselle de La Valliere, Madame de Sevigne, Mademoiselle de Grignan, and Mademoiselle de Fontanges And Madame de Tencin. He also painted Louis XIV ten times.