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Definition: Champaigne, Philippe de from Philip's Encyclopedia

French painter, b. Flanders. He was the greatest French portraitist of the 17th century and a remarkable religious painter. In 1628 he became artist to Queen Marie de' Medici and Cardinal Richelieu. After 1643 his beliefs in Jansenism produced religious paintings characterized by a serene realism. His best-known works include portraits and frescos at Vincennes and in the Tuileries.

Summary Article: Champaigne, Philippe de
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

French artist. He was the leading portrait painter of the court of Louis XIII. Of Flemish origin, he went to Paris in 1621 and gained the patronage of Cardinal Richelieu. His style is elegant, cool, and restrained. Ex Voto (1662; Louvre, Paris) is his best-known work.

He first studied landscape in Brussels, and went to Paris 1621, collaborating with the young Nicolas Poussin in the decoration of the Luxembourg. He became painter to Marie de' Medici 1628 and won the favour of Louis XIII and Richelieu, of whom two of his portraits are famous, the threefold head and shoulders (National Gallery, London), intended, like van Dyck's triple portrait of Charles I, to serve Bernini as a guide for a bust, and the large full-length (Louvre), formal and grandiose, which set a style for official French portraiture. Richelieu employed him in painting the dome of the Sorbonne. He became a member of the Académie 1648. An austerity of style grew with the severe Jansenist sect of Port-Royal where his daughter Catherine became a nun. His ex voto painting of the girl, miraculously cured of paralysis by the intercessions of the Mother Superior, Les Réligieuses shows a typical gravity of mood. He devoted himself to religious painting after 1659, decorating several Paris churches. His nephew, Jean Baptiste de Champaigne (1631–81), was also a painter and his collaborator.


Champaigne, Philippe de

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