The Artist

Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674) was born into a poor family in Brussels, in modern-day Belgium.  After apprenticing with a painter, he arrived in Paris in 1621.  He was highly admired for his realistic portraits, and obtained important patrons such as the Queen Mother Marie de Medici, Cardinal Richelieu, and King Louis XIII.  In 1648, Champaigne was one of the founding members of the new Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, created by order of Louis XIV.

French embassy