Portrait of Three French Aristocratic Children c.1690; Attributed to Pierre Mignard.
By Roy Precious From United Kingdom
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Oil on canvas in 18th century giltwood frame.
A superb quality large 17th century portrait of three children of the French nobility. Such is the splendour and expense of their fashionable clothing that the girls may be princesses, possibly some of Louis XIV's numerous progeny sired on his several mistresses. Louis legitimised these children and they all received titles.
On the reverse of the painting is a very faint inscription which seems to read "Children of Louis 14th by Pierre Mignard".
The painting has been reduced in size and changed from rectangle to oval, probably in the 18th or 19th century, whether because of damage or for a decorative purpose is not known.
PIERRE MIGNARD (1612-1695) was a member of a family of artists, he was a painter in the classical French Baroque manner, known primarily for his court portraits.
In 1635 Mignard left the studio of Simon Vouet for Italy, where he spent 22 years and made a reputation that brought him a summons to Paris in 1657. Successful with his portrait of Louis XIV and in favour with the court, Mignard pitted himself against Charles Le Brun; he declined to enter the French Royal Academy, of which Le Brun was the head, and he organized the opposition to its authority.
Mignard was chiefly active in portraiture; many of the beauties and celebrities of his day sat for him, including Molière, the Viscount de Turenne, Jacques Bossuet, the Marquise de Maintenon, the Marquise de Sévigné, and the Marquise de Montespan. His skilful technique and graceful arrangements are noteworthy.
With the death of Le Brun (1690), Mignard succeeded to all the posts held by his opponent. These late honours he did not long enjoy. He died while about to commence work on the cupola of the Hôtel des Invalides. His brother Nicolas Mignard (1606–68) and his nephew Paul Mignard (c. 1638–91) were also accomplished painters.
SIZE:56 x 44 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE:Collection of Maria Carmela, Viscountess Hambleden of Hambleden Manor, Buckinghamshire since the 1950s.
(Image 10 shows Hambleden Manor)
We specialise in portraits from the 16th to the early 20th century, we also stock some 17th and 18th century ship paintings, furniture of the 17th and 18th centuries, and other artefacts dating from 200 B.C. to the 20th century.We have sold to many important collections including The Historic Royal Palaces collection and The Yale Center for British Art. Viewing is by appointment, or an arrangement can be made for the item to be brought to your home for inspection.