Troyes, 1612-Paris, 1695
Portrait of a Lady as Venus with Cupid, 1680s
Oil on canvas.
After training in France, including a period with Vouet, Mignard worked in Rome for more than twenty years. Out of those experiences he developed a very refined if fairly generic classicism. Returning to Paris in 1657, he enjoyed great success and offered the principal alternative to Charles Le Brun’s more robust and rhetorical official style. Mignard’s portraits were celebrated for the kind of contrivance and elegance that are evident in this picture. Anticipating later criticism, however, Poussin found his likeness, “cold, crushed, too done-up, and neither fluency nor discipline.”