* 1590 Paris
† 1649 Paris
It is said that Simon Vouet was born in Paris on 9 January 1590. Vouet initially painted in Italy in the style of Chiaroscuro, which was significantly influenced by Caravaggio. With his style of a vivid naturalism and its drastic way of illumination he set a contrast to his mature and courtly style which idealised shapes and emphasized soft illumination. Thrilled by the work of Vouet, Ludwig XIII asked Vouet to come back to Paris and to work as a main court painter. In 1627 Vouet came back to Paris, accepted the job and painted on behalf of Ludwig XIII and Cardinal Richellieux in the Louvre and in the Palais Royal. His later works differed from Chiaroscuro's style by using more fresh colors and slightly bright/dark shades. They were at the beginning of the baroque era of France which was significantly influenced by Vouet, who amonst others, was a teacher of Charles le Brun. Vouet supervised the equipping of the Royal Palais, trained many French painters and used his powerful position to courageously set up an institution which rivaled the Royal Academy. Simon Vouet was a French painter of the baroque era and died in Paris on 30 June 1649.