COYPEL, the name of a French family of painters. Noel Coypel (1628-1707), also called, from the fact that he was much influenced by Poussin, Coypel le Poussin, was the son of an unsuccessful artist. Having been employed by Charles Errard to paint some of the pictures required for the Louvre, and having afterwards gained considerable fame by other pictures produced at the command of the king, in 1672 he was appointed director of the French Academy at Rome. After four years he returned to France; and not long after he became director of the Academy of Painting. The Martyrdom of St James in Notre Dame is perhaps his finest work.
His son, Antoine Coypel (1661-1772), was still more celebrated than his father. Antoine studied under his father, with whom he spent four years at Rome. At the age of eighteen he was admitted into the Academy of Painting, of which he became professor and rector in 1707, and director in 1714. In 1716 he was appointed king's painter, and he was ennobled in the following year. Antoine Coypel received a careful literary education, the effects of which appear in his works; but the graceful imagination displayed by his pictures is marred by the fact that he was not superior to the artificial taste of his age. He was a clever etcher, and engraved several of his own works. His Discours prononcés dans les conférences de l' Académie royale de Peinture, etc.; appeared in 1741.
Antoine's half-brother, Noel Nicholas Coypel (1692-1734), was also an exceedingly popular artist; and his son, Charles Antoine (1694-1752), was painter to the king and director of the Academy of Painting. The latter published interesting academical lectures in Le Mercure and wrote several plays which were acted at court, but were never published.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)