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Pierre Mignard

1612 - 1695

Pierre Mignard was, with Charles Le Brun (1619-90), one of the most successful painters of the reign of Louis XIV. He worked for the King and many of the principal figures at court both as a portraitist and as a painter of large-scale decorative schemes.

After training in Troyes, where he was born, and in Bourges, Mignard joined the studio of Simon Vouet in Paris in 1627. He went to Italy in 1636 and remained there until 1657. He studied the work of Correggio and Pietro da Cortona in Rome as well as copying Annibale Carracci's frescoes in the Palazzo Farnese.

Mignard's best known surviving decorative scheme is the dome of the church of the Val-de-Grâce in Paris, commissioned by Louis XIV's queen, Anne of Austria. Because of his rivalry with Le Brun, Mignard was unwilling to become a member of the Academy, but on Le Brun's death in 1690 he succeeded him as its Director and as First Painter to the King.