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Champaigne, Philippe De

CHAMPAIGNE, PHILIPPE DE (1602-1674), Belgian painter of the French school, was born at Brussels of a poor family. He was a pupil of J. Fouquières; and, going to Paris in 1621, was employed by N. Du Chesne to paint along with Nicholas Poussin in the palace of the Luxembourg. His best works are to be found at Vincennes, and in the church of the Carmelites at Paris, where is his celebrated Crucifix, a signal perspective success, on one of the vaultings. After the death of Du Chesne, Philippe became first painter to the queen of France, and ultimately rector of the Academy of Paris. As his age advanced and his health failed, he retired to Port Royal, where he had a daughter cloistered as a nun, of whom (along with Catherine Agnès Arnauld) he painted a celebrated picture, now in the Louvre, highly remarkable for its solid unaffected truth. This, indeed, is the general character of his work, - grave reality, without special elevation or depth of character, or charm of warm or stately colour. He produced an immense number of paintings, religious and other subjects as well as portraits, dispersed over various parts of France, and now over the galleries of Europe. Philippe was a good man, indefatigable, earnest and scrupulously religious. He died on the 12th of August 1674.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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