Room 18

France

Most of the paintings in this room were made in Paris around the middle of the 17th century. Increasing French power and self-confidence are qualities evident in Philippe de Champaigne’s full-length portrait of Cardinal de Richelieu of 1633–40. The political ambition to make of Paris a new Rome, resulted in more French-born painters making their careers in the French capital. This trend was encouraged by the founding in 1648 of a royal academy of the arts, and by many wealthy individuals refurbishing their homes.

The greater simplicity of architecture in Paris compared to that in Italy was echoed in the paintings commissioned for the city’s buildings. A distinctly French style emerged which rejected flamboyance and strong contrasts of light and shade, instead favouring restraint, even lighting, elegance and clarity of composition. These characteristics can be seen as much in the history paintings of Eustache Le Sueur as in the more down-to-earth subjects of the Le Nain Brothers.

Paintings in this room

The Dream of Saint Joseph
The Dream of Saint Joseph
Philippe de Champaigne
Triple Portrait of Cardinal de Richelieu
Triple Portrait of Cardinal de Richelieu
Philippe de Champaigne and studio
Allegory of Grammar
Allegory of Grammar
Laurent de La Hyre
A Woman and Five Children
A Woman and Five Children
The Le Nain Brothers
Four Figures at a Table
Four Figures at a Table
The Le Nain Brothers
The Adoration of the Shepherds
The Adoration of the Shepherds
The Le Nain Brothers
The Boar Hunt
The Boar Hunt
Joseph Parrocel
The Four Ages of Man
The Four Ages of Man
Valentin de Boulogne
Cardinal de Retz
Cardinal de Retz
Jakob Ferdinand Voet
Ceres and Harvesting Cupids
Ceres and Harvesting Cupids
Simon Vouet and studio
 
  • Share