Largillière, Nicolas de

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Largillière, Nicolas de

(nēkôlä` də lärzhēlyĕr`), 1656–1746, French portrait and history painter, b. Paris. He was brought up in Antwerp, and the influence of Rubens is evident in his vigorous and colorful style. Favored by Le Brun, he became a successful portrait painter in Paris and London. One of his best-known pictures is The Painter and His Family (Louvre). Examples of his work are to be seen in the National Portrait Gallery and the Wallace Collection, London, and in the Metropolitan Museum.

Largillière, Nicolas de

 

Baptized Oct. 10, 1656, in Paris; died there Mar. 20, 1746. French painter.

Largillière studied in Antwerp and in London with P. Lely from 1674. He worked in France from 1678. Influenced by P. P. Rubens, Largillière’s work anticipated the rococo. He painted idealized, opulent scenes of the Parisian aristocracy and bourgeoisie—for example, Session of the Parisian Town Council in 1687 (study, Hermitage, in Leningrad). But his intimate portraits subtly reveal his models’ individual characteristics—for example, Voltaire, (c. 1718, Musée Carnavale, in Paris). Largillière also did still lifes and historical and religious works. His mature paintings are noted for a vivid and refined palette.

REFERENCES

Smith, J. (van Rensselaer). Nicolas Largillière: A Painter of the Régence. Minneapolis, 1964.