Philippe de Champaigne
* 1602 Brüssel
† 1674 Paris
Philippe de Champaigne is known as one the most important painters of French high baroque and as a founding father of the French Academy of Sciences.
Philippe de Champaigne was born at Brussels in 1602. He presumably received first art lessons from the Jesuits in Brussels. From 1614 to 1617 Philippe de Champaigne was an apprentice of Jean Bouillon, in 1618 he changed to Michel de Bordeau´s studio, where he also met Jacques Fouquier, a landscape painter, who completed Philippe de Champaigne´s education in 1620 .
His father wanted to send Philippe de Champaigne to Peter Paul Rubens´ studio in Antwerp, but he was able to convince his father to save the money for a later journey to Italy. However, Philippe de Champaigne left Brussels anyway and went to Paris in 1621.
In Paris Philippe de Champaigne´s career took off. Together with none lesser than Nicolas Poussin he worked on the endowment of the Palais du Luxembourg. In 1627 Philippe de Champaigne was appointed court painter by Queen Mother ("peintre du roi et de la reine mère").
Philippe de Champaigne soon received countless royal commissions. He executed lively and yet psychologically deep portraits of France´s greatest personalities, made altar pieces for churches in Paris and painted small religious scenes for private clients. Thoroughly executed, strong classicist compositions and brilliant colors are characteristic of Philippe de Champaigne´s paintings, which show the influence of Simon Vouet and Peter Paul Rubens. Philippe de Champaigne, however, had a stricter style than his idols. He was a painter who ruled over sensuality.
The extremely prominent Philippe de Champaigne was founding member of the Paris Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, which appointed him as professor in 1653.
In 1674 Philippe de Champaigne died in Paris.