The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Cardinal Fleury
  • Studio of Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659 - 1743)
  • Cardinal Fleury
  • France
  • 1735
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 80.5 x 64.5 cm
  • Inscription: GP [/] NL
    Inscription: 'fait par Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1735'
    Inscription: 'GP / N4'
  • P130
  • Reserve Gallery
Further Reading
  • André-Hercule de Fleury (1653-1743), became Bishop of Fréjus 1698, tutor and First Minister of Louis XV (1715) and a Cardinal in 1726. He is chiefly remembered for his astute diplomacy during the early years of Louis XV’s reign.
    Rigaud painted his portrait, three-quarter-length, in 1728 (original untraced). As was usual for many portraits and those from Rigaud's studio in particular, numerous studio versions of the portrait were issued in subsequent years. The degree of Rigaud's intervention varied. Rigaud's account book records fourteen copies made between 1728 and 1735. The inscription and date on the back of the canvas identifies the present picture as one of two copies made in Rigaud’s studio in 1735 for James, 1st Earl of Waldegrave (1685-1741), British Ambassador and Minister Plenipotentiary in Paris 1730-40 who had been negotiating with Fleury directly. In 1734, Rigaud also painted Waldegrave's portrait. P130 is an example of a smaller version in bust-length that omits the space and objects around the sitter.