Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743)
Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743), a Catalan painter born in Perpignan, influenced by Van Dyck and Rubens, was the foremost portrait painter during the reign of Louis XIV. He depicted all the social classes of the time, from the great figures of the court to the simple bourgeois, always with a truthful interpretation and a skilful rendering of draping and colour. D'Argenville, one of his many clients, said that he "managed to create such perfect likenesses that from a distance, one would almost want to begin a conversation with the subjects of his paintings." He reached the height of success with the official portrait of Louis XIV in 1701, after which his popularity led him to become the most solicited portrait painter in the European courts.