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Hyacinthe Rigaud

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Hyacinthe Rigaud

Estimated price: € 4.000 / 8.000
USD: 4.280 / 8.560 $GBP: 3.369 / 6.738 £
Starting price:  2.000
  • USD: 2.140 €
  • GBP: 1.684 €
  • USD: 2.140 $
  • GBP: 1.684 £
USD: 2.140 $GBP: 1.684 £

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Hyacinthe Rigaud

Hyacinthe Rigaud
Perpignan 1659 – 1743 Paris
Portrait of Cardinal André-Hercule de Fleury
Oil on canvas, relined
81.5 x 63.5 cm, with frame 95 x 79.5 cm

Hyacinthe Rigaud was an important French painter of the Baroque period. He showed exceptional talent from an early age and received formal training from his father, a modest portraitist. Rigaud’s skills soon attracted the attention of influential patrons, establishing him as one of the most sought-after portrait painters in France.

Rigaud’s style was characterised by meticulous attention to detail, rich colours and magnificent compositions, reflecting the opulence and splendour of the French court. His portraits often depicted aristocrats, clergymen, and other prominent figures, whose stature and personality he captured with remarkable precision.

One notable work is the portrait of Cardinal André-Hercule de Fleury (Lodève 1653 – 1743 Paris). He was a French cardinal and prime minister who headed the government of King Louis XV from 1726 to 1743. Against a dark background, Cardinal Fleury is depicted in a white habit decorated with intricate details and complemented by a bright red cloak and headdress. He looks at the viewer with a warm smile that radiates confidence and wisdom and exudes a gentle authority. The voluminous robes worn by the cardinal emphasise his majestic aura and envelop him in an air of stately splendour. The skillful use of light and shadow gives the portrait depth and dimension as well as a sense of dynamism and vitality.

This painting, an extremely high quality repetition of Rigaud’s earlier work from 1730, now in the Wallace Collection (P130), by his own hand, is an example of the artist’s mastery of portraiture and his ability to capture the essence of his subjects with unrivalled finesse. Through his artistry, Rigaud immortalises Cardinal Fleury and invites the viewer to contemplate the enduring legacy of this influential figure in French history.

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