Pierre Mignard

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Pierre Mignard, self-portrait.
La vierge aux raisins, 1640.

Pierre Mignard (7 November 1612 – 30 May 1695), called "Le Romain" to distinguish him from his brother Nicolas Mignard, was a French painter. He was born at Troyes, and came of a family of artists; he also needs to be distinguished from his nephew Pierre (1640–1725), often called "Pierre II" or "Le Chevalier".[1]

In 1630 he left the studio of Simon Vouet for Italy, where he spent twenty-two years, and made a reputation which brought him a summons to Paris. Having found favor with the king, Louis XIV, Mignard pitted himself against Charles Le Brun and declined to enter the Academy of which Le Brun was the head. Mignard also opposed the authority of the Academy.

Mignard spent most of his time painting portraits. Among his models were Turenne, Molière, Bossuet, Maintenon (in the Louvre), La Vallière, Sévigné, Montespan, Descartes (in Castle Howard).

With the death of Le Brun in 1690, the situation changed. Mignard succeeded to all the posts held by his opponent. He died in 1695 at Paris as he was about to begin work on the cupola of the Invalides. His best compositions have been engraved by Audran, Edelinck, Masson, Poilly and others.[citation needed]

There is a good selection of works by Pierre, Nicolas, and Pierre II in Avignon at the Musée Calvet. The Courtauld Institute of Art (London), Harvard University Art Museums, the Hermitage Museum, the Honolulu Museum of Art, Kunst Indeks Danmark, the Louvre, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire (Geneva), Musée des Augustins (Toulouse, France), Musée Ingres (Montauban, France), Museo Lombardi (Parma, Italy), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the National Gallery, London, the National Portrait Gallery, London, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Portland Art Museum and Versailles are among the public collections holding works by Pierre Mignard.[citation needed]

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