Hyacinthe Rigaud

Hyacinthe Rigaud was a French baroque painter of Catalan origin whose career was based in Paris. He is renowned for his portrait paintings of Louis XIV, the royalty and nobility of Europe, and members of their courts and considered one of the most notable French portraitists of the classical period.

He was the most important portrait painter during the reign of King Louis XIV. His instinct for impressive poses and grand presentations precisely suited the tastes of the royal personages, ambassadors, clerics, courtiers, and financiers who sat for him. Rigaud owes his celebrity to the faithful support he received from the four generations of Bourbons whose portraits he painted. His œuvre reads as a near-complete portrait gallery of the chief movers in France from 1680 to 1740. Some of that œuvre (albeit a minority) also includes those of more humble origins - Rigaud's friends, fellow artists or simple businessmen.

Rigaud is inseparable from his best-known work, a 1701 painting of Louis XIV in his coronation costume which today hangs in the Louvre in Paris, as well as the second copy also requested by Louis XIV that now hangs at the Palace of Versailles.