Hyacinthe Rigaud (Hyacinthe François Honoré Mathias Pierre André Jean Rigau y Ro
17th-18th century Baroque painter and draftsman
(Perpignan, France, 7/18/1659 - 12/29/1743, Paris, France)
Original name: Hyacinthe François Honoré Mathias Pierre André Jean Rigau y Ros
Was a portrait painter
3/6/09 Per the website: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/503411/Hyacinthe-Rigaud
one of the most prolific and successful French portrait painters of the Baroque period. He was trained at Montpellier before moving to Lyon and finally to Paris in 1681, where he devoted himself to portraiture. By 1688, when he received his first royal commission, he already had a considerable reputation among the wealthier bourgeoisie of Paris. From 1690 onward, his work, primarily for the court, consisted almost entirely of portraits. A private ambition was realized when he gained admission to the academy as a historical painter in January 1700.
3/6/09 Per the Getty's website: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artMakerDetails?maker=414
Hyacinthe Rigaud and his friendly rival Nicolas de Largillière were their era's leading portraitists, but Rigaud painted aristocrats while Largillière concentrated on the wealthy bourgeoisie. Their differing approaches reflect their clients' status. Rigaud's sitters are shown in elegant stances of natural superiority; they are members of society whose costumes and gestures describe their function within the state. He combined Anthony van Dyck's prototypes and opulent style with Philippe de Champaigne's stiff, linear formality. In his unofficial portraits, however, Rigaud's interest in realism and character displays the influence of Rembrandt van Rijn.
Rigaud studied in Montpellier and Lyon before arriving in Paris in 1681. He won the Prix de Rome in 1682 but on Charles Le Brun's advice did not go to Italy. In 1688 Rigaud's flattering, graceful portrait of King Louis XIV's brother brought him favor at court. His subjects included dignitaries at Versailles, visiting royalty, prominent artists, and church and military leaders. His studio employed both part-time specialists and full-time assistants like Jean-Marc Nattier. They often copied his portraits, which Rigaud touched up as necessary. Elected to the Académie Royale as a history painter in 1700, Rigaud later taught there.
black and white chalk and black ink, grey wash, heightened with white on blue paper
Gift of George and Elaine Keyes, two Anonymous Donors and the Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund