Pierre Mignard (1612-1695) attributed-Portrait of a young man dressed in the antique
Canvas relined 75 cm by 60 cm
Sumptuous old frame 96 cm by 82 cm
This portrait is beautiful. The young man wears a Roman outfit, presumably that of Mars, god of gerriers, violence and youth in the pantheon of ancient Rome. Note also and in particular the remarkable work on the wig and the beauty of skin tones.
Pierre Mignard (1612-1695)
Born in Troyes, Pierre Mignard did his apprenticeship in Bourges, from 1622, with the painter of altar paintings Jean Boucher, then in Paris with Simon Vouet. These two painters who had once made the trip to Italy perhaps communicated to Mignard the desire to travel across the mountains, as a rule for artists of the generation of 1590, neglected by the artists of his generation (Philippe de Champaigne, La Hyre). Of his long stay in Italy, mainly in Rome, from 1634-1635 to 1657 (he made a trip to Parma, Modena and Venice in 1654-1655), we know very little; if the artist is strongly Italianized. His real training takes place under the aegis of Bolognese painting: Annibal Carrache, Dominiquin, l'Albane; he also retains from Correggio his sense of chiaroscuro and meditates on Poussin's painting. So we are dealing with an eclectic painter. He joined Paris at the request of Louis XIV in 1657; he then executed several orders, such as the dome of Val-de-Grâce (1663). Renowned portrait painter, he knows how to flatter the model, but also to mix expression with grace in light and fresh tones, in contrast to the majesty of Le Brun. On the death of his rival (1690), he succeeded him as the king's first painter and director of the Gobelins factory. Long removed from the royal building sites, he could finally perform large decorations, first for the Duke of Orleans in Saint-Cloud (1677-1680, destroyed but partly engraved by J.-B. de Poilly; this set was completed by a Pietà, painted for the chapel of the castle in 1682, today in the church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine de Gennevilliers), for the Grand Condé (Andromède, 1679, Louvre), then for Monseigneur in Versailles (1683-84 ), finally for Louis XIV himself: in 1685, he painted the ceilings of the Petite Galerie (engraved by G. Audran) and the 2 salons that accompany it. All these ceilings are unfortunately destroyed; however, they formed the part which the painter himself considered the most important of his work. Supported by Louvois, Mignard gradually supplants Le Brun, with whom he leads an open struggle. Episodes of this struggle, a Carrying of the Cross offered to the King in 1684 (Louvre), a Family of Darius (Hermitage) which in 1689 rivals the painting which had once made the glory of Le Brun. At the death of this one (1690), Mignard, almost octogenarian, succeeds him in his offices and dignities and deploys an incredible activity. He multiplies the projects for the decoration of the church of the Invalides (drawings in the Louvre), undertakes 2 ceilings for the small apartment of the king in Versailles (fragments in the museums of Grenoble, Lille, Toulouse, Dinan, at the castle of Fontainebleau ) and painted a series of religious paintings.