The Wallace Collection

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Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659 - 1743)
  • Place of Birth: Perpignan, France
  • Place of Death: Paris, France
Biography
Works of Art

Hiacinto Francisco Honorat Matias Pere-Martir Joan Rigau, called Rigaud. Born on 18 July 1659 in Perpignan, where he became apprentice with Antoine I Guerra. He studied at Montpellier under Paul Pezet and Antoine Ranc, probably also with Henri Verdier. 1677-1681 he worked in Lyon. In 1681 he became a student at the Paris Academy where he was received as a candidate in 1685. He became a full member in 1700 as a history painter. In 1701, Rigaud painted his most famous work, the full-length portrait of Louis XIV (Paris, Musée du Louvre). Eminently successful thereafter, he became director of the Académie in 1733. He died in Paris on 29 December 1743.
Rigaud was the most influential portrait painter of his generation. His portraits of rulers became the template in most of Europe, but he also excelled in official portraits of government members, ambassadors, clerics and artists. Rigaud was fashionable in large part of French society and among international visitors to Paris.His studio was professionally organised and also provided for numerous autograph and studio versions after the prototypes. Rigaud's account book provides important insights into the organisation of the studio.