Philippe de Champaigne

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Philippe de Champaigne was a French painter, born and trained in Brussels, Belgium. Arriving in Paris in 1621, he collaborated with Nicolas Poussin in decorating the Luxembourg Palace. Champaigne then worked for the queen mother, Marie de Medicis, for Louis XIII, and after 1635 primarily for the king's chief minister, Cardinal Armand Richelieu, for whom he decorated the Palais Royal, the dome of the Sorbonne, and other buildings. Champaigne painted colorful historical and religious scenes influenced by Peter Paul Rubens, and he excelled at portraits in the realistic, perceptive Flemish tradition, as in Cardinal Richelieu (1637?, National Gallery, London).

In the 1640s Champaigne became deeply influenced by Jansenism, an austere Roman Catholic reform movement centered at Port-Royal. Thereafter he painted portraits of Jansenist leaders in a cool, restrained, rational French spirit. Outstanding is Ex Voto de 1662 (1662, Musée du Louvre), depicting his daughter, a Jansenist nun, cured of paralysis through prayer.

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