portrait of three french aristocratic children c1690 attributed to pierre mignard

Portrait of Three French Aristocratic Children c.1690; Attributed to Pierre Mignard.



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Oil on canvas in 18th century giltwood frame.
A superb quality large 17th century portrait of three children of the French nobility. Such is the splendour and expense of their fashionable clothing that the girls may be princesses, especially as a young gentleman kneels before them. Possibly some of Louis XIV's numerous progeny sired on his several mistresses. Louis legitimised these children and they all received titles.
On the reverse of the painting is a very faint inscription which seems to read "Children of Louis 14th by Pierre Mignard".
The painting has been reduced in size and changed from rectangle to oval, probably in the late 18th century,as that is the date of the frame, whether because of damage or for a decorative purpose is not known.
PIERRE MIGNARD (1612-1695) was a member of a family of artists, he was a painter in the classical French Baroque manner, known primarily for his court portraits.
In 1635 Mignard left the studio of Simon Vouet for Italy, where he spent 22 years and made a reputation that brought him a summons to Paris in 1657. Successful with his portrait of Louis XIV and in favour with the court, Mignard pitted himself against Charles Le Brun; he declined to enter the French Royal Academy, of which Le Brun was the head, and he organized the opposition to its authority.
Mignard was chiefly active in portraiture; many of the beauties and celebrities of his day sat for him, including Molière, the Viscount de Turenne, Jacques Bossuet, the Marquise de Maintenon, the Marquise de Sévigné, and the Marquise de Montespan. His skilful technique and graceful arrangements are noteworthy.
With the death of Le Brun (1690), Mignard succeeded to all the posts held by his opponent. These late honours he did not long enjoy. He died while about to commence work on the cupola of the Hôtel des Invalides. His brother Nicolas Mignard (1606–68) and his nephew Paul Mignard (c. 1638–91) were also accomplished painters.
SIZE: 56.00inch framed height 44.00inch framed width (142.24 cm framed height  111.76 cm framed width)
PROVENANCE: Collection of Maria Carmela, Viscountess Hambleden of Hambleden Manor, Buckinghamshire since the 1950s.
This portrait was selected by John Fowler, of Colefax and Fowler, in the 1950s, for Hambleden Manor, home of the Viscountess Hambleden.
It hung there until July 2013 when the countess moved to a smaller property on the estate. The decoration and furnishing of Hambleden Manor is regarded as one of Fowler's earliest major achievements.
(Image 10 shows Hambleden Manor)
Inscribed verso; "Children of Louis 14th by Pierre Mignard".(?)
Internal Ref: 8763


Height = 142 cm (56")
Width = 112 cm (44")
Depth = 7 cm (3")

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