(b Montpellier, 2 Feb. 1616; d Paris, 8 May 1671). French painter. From about 1634 to 1637 he lived in Rome, where he worked for a picture dealer and developed a talent for imitating the work of other artists—Claude, Dughet, van Laer—sometimes probably with intent to deceive. He continued in this vein when he returned to France and his oeuvre is still ill-defined (contemporaries praised his work and admired his versatility but also criticized him for failing to find an individual style). From 1652 to 1654 he was court painter to Queen Christina of Sweden, of whom he did several portraits, and after his return to France he worked mainly as a portraitist. It was in this field that he produced his most distinctive works, using soft tonalities and skilful play with cascading draperies to create a languorous, romantic effect.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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